In a significant step to improve healthcare access, the Ministry of Health has inaugurated a 24/7 service at three key filter clinics – Likotsi, Qoaling, and Mabote.
This initiative, extending services into weekends, marks a transformative approach to addressing the current health crisis.
Dr. Ngoyi Kaumbo, who oversees the three clinics, believes that this expansion of hours, effective since November 2023, will significantly ease the burden on Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital’s emergency department. He emphasised the benefit for patients who struggle with transportation issues or need urgent care after regular hours.
“With this change, our clinics are now equipped to provide care during nights and weekends, offering an alternative to QMMH,” Dr. Kaumbo explained.
He also highlighted the inclusivity of the new schedule, particularly for those who cannot make it to the clinics on weekdays.
“We’re introducing a flexible system where healthcare is accessible even during weekends,” he added. Additionally, Dr. Kaumbo shared plans for enhanced outreach programs to improve preventive care and reduce hospital admissions to QMMH.
Sister Catharine Lebina, in charge of Nursing Services, reported a significant demand for maternal health services in 2023. She detailed the patient statistics at the clinics: Likotsi handled 432 out of 609 expected deliveries, transferring 177 due to complications. Qoaling managed 727 deliveries out of 839, with 112 transfers, while Mabote saw 769 deliveries among 995 expected, transferring 227. Lebina also noted the unfortunate loss of two newborns at Likotsi and Qoaling.
Highlighting the clinics’ service reach, Lebina pointed out that Likotsi caters to around 19,673 people, Qoaling serves about 71,000, and Mabote covers 37,883 individuals.
Minister Selibe Mochoboroane has mandated his principal secretary to ensure the clinics are well-equipped. He stressed the importance of having at least one doctor available per clinic to fortify the nation’s primary healthcare system. Currently, each clinic operates with a minimum of five doctors, with plans to increase this number. “Focusing on strengthening primary healthcare has been a key budgetary priority, and we’re committed to enhancing our medical staff strength soon,” Mochoboroane affirmed.