Botswana: New Hospital On Cards - President

Gumare — President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says plans are afoot for the construction of the long-awaited new Gumare primary hospital.

President Masisi said this at a kgotla meeting in Gumare on October 4.

He urged residents to be patient as the new facility, which was expected to have 70 beds as well as 65 staff houses, was planned for the next financial year

He was responding to some questions raised by some residents at the kgotla meeting.

Kgosi Moitshepi Molelwa had enquired about the Gumare hospital, which was in the National Development Plan (NDP9) and suspended as a result of economic meltdown and later included in the NDP 11.

President Masisi however, explained that government had decided to refurbish the old hospital before undertaking the new project because they could not embark on the two major projects at the same time because they both needed purified water for health and safety reasons.

Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele said the long-awaited Gumare hospital would ease congestion at the old facility which had only 40 beds.

Dr Madigele indicated that he was aware of some residents' concerns, assuring them that efforts were underway to address the concerns.

Currently, he said the ministry was working on the designs and layout of the proposed project to cater for water drainage system.

He indicated that the old hospital was being refurbished and the project would include installation of laundry machines and boilers. Also, he said efforts were made to take health services closer to the people, adding that such included the decision to upgrade Letsholathebe Memorial hospital to a referral facility.

He explained that such decision followed concerns about patients travelling long distances, as far as Francistown and Gaborone, for special services.

Earlier, the Village Development Committee (VDC) representative, Ms Matshidiso Gantsi said the old facility was small and yet it served a vast area.

She also noted that part of the facility was burnt in 2016 with the theatre and laboratory razed to the ground.

Meanwhile, some residents thanked President Masisi for his visit and expressed hope that their concerns would be addressed.

One resident, Pastor Simon Moeti thanked government for responding positively to their plea noting that they had long called for a new hospital.

He also appreciated improvement in drugs availability after having experienced some serious shortage in the past.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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