A Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislator Setlhomo Lelatisitwe has accused Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Dikgang Makgalemele for only giving a correct answer for the first time in Parliament last week.
Lelatisitswe is a Member of Parliament (MP) representing the Boteti East constituency.
Makgalemele was answering a parliamentary question on whether it was true that Anti-retroviral patients of Mosu, Mokubilo, Mmeya, Khwee and Makgaba had been 1 year 7 months without being visited by a medical doctor.
“It is true that ARV patients in…villages have not been reviewed by medical doctors for the past seven to 19 months due to critical shortage of doctors,” Makgalemele answered what he described as a good question.
He stated, however that the ministry has trained ARV nurse prescribers and dispensers to augment medical doctors to initiate and review ARV patients.
“In case there are no doctors, nurse prescribers and dispensers initiate and review ARV patients with unstable patients being referred to facilities with medical officers for review,” Makgalemele stated matter of factly.
He also revealed that doctors last visited Mokubilo, Mmeya, Mosu and Makgaba villages in August 2017 while Khwee was last visited in August 2016.
In a sharp precursor to his second question, Lelatisitwe stated, “Thank you honourable minister for your honest answer for the first time”.
Makgalemele did not counter Lelatisitwe’s implication of habitual lying but responded that even though the occurrence is unconventional, there was no crisis in the villages because if it were, the ARV patients would have been referred to doctors.
He further said the nurses are trained by a reputable entity through the Botswana Harvard Partnership.
Furthermore, the minister who is a former football administrator, said some of them are trained through the University of Maryland.
In response to a question from Gabane-Mmankgodi legislator on whether he grasps the gravity of the matter, Makgalemele responded: “Yes, certainly the doctors have not seen them, but there was no emergency for them to be seen by medical officers Madam Speaker. If it was there, they could have been referred to the doctors.” he stated.