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By Neo Kolane
A medical practitioner at Motebang Hospital in Leribe Dr Pusetso Topo has shed some light on the matter making rounds that services were not being provided to patients by the doctors at the hospital due to the doctors’ contractual disputes with the ministry of health.
He clarified with theReporter this week that contrary to widespread services did not stop, the problem is that the hospital was short-staffed and could not cope with the sudden rise of patients seeking medical attention.
Dr Topo said the hospital had few doctors on the ground therefore they had to prioritise some areas like casualty, maternity and wards with admitted patients.
He said some doctors resigned leaving the hospital with 10 doctors; two went to maternity leave while the other two had COVID-19 but are now back to work, leaving the hospital with eight doctors.
He said another reason was that of the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) clinics which are 14 in the Leribe district the patients were flooding Motebang Hospital making it difficult to provide satisfactory services.
“As it stands we are still seeing patients and at 3:00pm we are done with providing services.
Rumours indicated that the out-patient department at Motebang Hospital is not receiving services due to contracts of doctors not being renewed.
An outpatient department or outpatient clinic is the part of a hospital designed for the treatment of outpatients, people with health problems who visit the hospital for diagnosis or treatment, but do not at this time require a bed or to be admitted for overnight care
Motebang Hospital has employed 10 doctors.
A nurse who talked on condition of anonymity at the hospital said that it has been two weeks, patients arriving at around 04:00 am and spend hours without being provided any medical services from the doctors.
She said on Thursday last week, out of 88 patients, only 16 got attended with the doctor claiming an exhaustion as had just come from a meeting.
“On day two, the patients were loitering around, without a sight of a doctor for them to consult.
“This week on Monday, the patients started getting services, although late and by one doctor after their vitals were checked.
“These are local doctors,” the nurse said.
She explained that the patients used to return after sitting long hours even though the nurses would have checked the vital organs and they would wait for doctors to attend to them.
She disclosed that doctor’s based at Motebang Hospital are Basotho and that their contracts are still up in place.
She said a nurse’s job is to make the doctors’ orders after the latter has consulted a patient.
The president of Lesotho Medical Association Mojakisane Ramafikeng told the publication that contracts of foreign doctors are being worked on because there are many Basotho doctors who are graduating in large numbers and that means they need to be relevant medical fields.
Ramafikeng said there was a strategy to make sure that Basotho doctors get jobs leading to contracts of foreign doctors not being renewed.
“But services are not provided, there is already a shortage of doctors at Motebang Hospital; two have gone to maternity leave while another has taken leave,” he emphasized.