Health min­istry part­ners with pri­vate doc­tors

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

THE Min­istry of Health yes­ter­day signed a five-year Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) with pri­vate med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers to col­lab­o­rate in as­sist­ing vul­ner­a­ble groups.

In his ad­dress dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mony in Maseru, Health Min­is­ter Dr Molotsi Monya­mane said the govern­ment had worked with pri­vate doc­tors be­fore al­though they did not have de­fined op­er­a­tional pa­ram­e­ters.

“We want to have a clear agree­ment on the work­ing con­di­tions with the pri­vate doc­tors we are sign­ing the MOU with. The doc­tors are reg­is­tered un­der the In­de­pen­dent Med­i­cal Prac­ti­tion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (IMPA),” Dr Monya­mane said, adding that their main fo­cus would be on the fight against the HIV/AIDS pan­demic.

“We want ev­ery Mosotho to be af­forded qual­ity health ser­vices, es­pe­cially the vul­ner­a­ble groups such as fac­tory work­ers who are un­able to leave their work­places to get med­i­cal at­ten­tion at health fa­cil­i­ties. It has al­ways been our wish to pro­vide ser­vices to Ba­sotho but our re­sources are lim­ited.”

He added: “I must make it clear that th­ese doc­tors will be at­tended to by peo­ple re­ferred by the govern­ment and we al­ready have strate­gies in place to avoid sit­u­a­tions where pa­tients go to their surg­eries and de­mand free ser­vices be­cause the govern­ment would be pay­ing.”

On his part, IMPA Sec­re­tary Dr Te­boho Tha­bane said they had worked with the govern­ment for many years but un­der loose ar­range­ments.

“We didn’t have a place to dis­cuss our chal­lenges and come up with res­o­lu­tions to re­solve them,” Dr Tha­bane said.

“For in­stance, pre­vi­ously there were sit­u­a­tions where pay­ment pro­cesses for pri­vate med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers who worked for the Min­istry of Health were am­bigu­ous be­cause there was no solid agree­ment.”

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