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Maseru District Hospital set to open doors in May

Business

Ntsoaki Motaung

After numerous announcements by the authorities, the long-awaited opening of the Maseru District Hospital is now scheduled for the end of May this year.

It is expected that the hospital’s inauguration will significantly reduce the financial burden on the country, potentially saving up to 60 percent of the funds currently spent on sending patients abroad for treatment.

The revelation was made by the Medical Superintendent, ‘Mabatho Masupha, during a recent tour of the hospital by the parliamentary portfolio committee on social cluster.

Masupha highlighted that Lesotho expends significant resources on sending patients abroad, particularly to countries like South Africa and India, for medical procedures unavailable domestically.

She emphasized that a considerable portion of these patients are individuals battling cancer, necessitating treatments such as radiation therapy commonly provided in South Africa.

Masupha further elaborated on the financial strain, noting that the country incurs substantial costs for various activities, including diagnostic tests to confirm tumors, which can range from M30,000 to M40,000 per patient.

With the imminent opening of the Maseru District Hospital, Masupha outlined plans to conduct a range of procedures and operations locally, potentially alleviating the financial burden on the healthcare system and enhancing access to critical medical services within Lesotho itself.
“And with those procedures being performed in-country, it will enable us to save approximately 60 percent of the funds currently allocated for patients seeking treatment abroad,” she stated.

Masupha emphasised that these savings will continue until the completion and opening of the Cancer Center, currently under construction.

“Upon the opening of the cancer center, we anticipate even greater savings, potentially reaching 100 percent,” she added.

She detailed the extensive capabilities of the Maseru District Hospital, which is equipped with advanced machinery to facilitate a wide range of treatments and operations within the country.

“The hospital encompasses various specialized sections, including Ophthalmology, Theatre, Intensive Care Unit, Haemodialysis, Stomatology, Surgery Outpatient, Endoscopy Centre, Central Sterile Supply Department, Laboratory and Blood Bank, Pathology, Outpatient Services, Dermatology and Men’s Clinic, Gynaecology and Maternity, Radiology, Pharmacy, Casualty and Emergency, Physiotherapy, and Mental Observation Unit,” she explained.

Mokhothu Makhalanyane, Chairperson of the Social Cluster, revealed that the construction project for the hospital commenced in April 2021 with an initial completion target set for March 2024.

However, Makhalanyane acknowledged that the project faced delays, surpassing the anticipated timeline. To expedite the completion process, he said an acceleration plan was implemented, resulting in the revised completion date of May, although contractors initially projected completion by June.

Regarding funding, Makhalanyane disclosed that the project’s total cost amounted to M1 billion, provided as a grant from China.

Additionally, he said, the government of Lesotho contributed an extra M41 million, earmarked for electrification and the refurbishment of existing structures within the hospital premises.

“It is imperative that the hospital begins operations expeditiously to realize cost savings,” stated Makhalanyane.

“We have been informed that the country expends approximately M330 million annually on patient transfers to other countries. With the hospital operational, we anticipate saving at least 60 percent of these expenses, allowing us to redirect funds towards acquiring additional human resources and equipment for healthcare facilities nationwide,” he added.

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