Patients Die Awaiting Council Assessment Reports

Date:

  • Council failed to avail social worker’s assessment reports
  • Reports were needed by deceased persons for urgent medical assistance
  • Currently, another ailing patient is desperately awaiting the assessment
  • Council authorities confirm that such cases are of concern to them

The North West District Council’s failure to avail social worker’s assessment report needed by the less privileged to access certain services has been blamed for the deaths of two people from two families in Maun and Etsha respectively who needed the report for urgent medical assistance.

The two families revealed to this publication that they lost their loved ones because they were not provided with the reports, and could not receive necessary treatment from health providers.

Speaking anonymously, one of the disgruntled family members who is a mother of two and also a widow in Maun revealed that her mother and brother both died in 2018 due to a delay in a scheduled assessment by social workers.

She said the brother was diagnosed with migraine and later complained of stomach pains. This led to doctors at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital referring him to Village Clinic in Gaborone to undergo operation post scan.

“We were referred to Gaborone by the doctor, and because we are poor the doctor wrote a letter for us to submit to the social workers’ office so that they can help us with the transportation warrant but the social worker failed to even listen to us,” she lamented.

She further revealed that after weeks of going to and from the social workers’ office, her brother passed away as they themselves couldn’t afford to take the deceased to Gaborone for operation.

After the passing of her brother, she revealed that her mother was also admitted for breathlessness, at Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital for almost a month adding that the same ordeal repeated itself and this time around the social worker who was helping her demanded for assessment report to be carried out before any help can be rendered.

“It took forever for the assessment to be carried and after three weeks the assessment was carried but up until now, we never got the feedback though we tried to visit their offices regularly until my mother past on,” she cried.

In Etsha village, a 35-year old lady revealed to this publication that she has experienced the same problem with the social workers in Etsha and Gumare in 2015 when her brother was found to have a tumor and he was referred to South Africa for operation.

She lamented that her 9 years old brother by then was referred to the Gumare office by the Gumare Primary Hospital for urgent transportation logistics but it took months and eventually a year passed on without any help and the patient lost his sight.

 “After my brother sight that’s when the social worker started to help us and my brother was taken to Gaborone for scanning and finally he was flown to South Africa where he was successfully operated,” she narrated.

The woman added that she is currently fighting to get help for his sick mother who also need transportation to travel to Gaborone for ear operation with Gaborone Private Hospital (GPH).

While the assessment was already done for the same household for her brother, the social workers want to conduct another one, but it has been 3 months since.

“I fear for my mother’s life, she is not well and complains of headache and her ears swell with blood always comes out of them,” she narrated.

Okavango sub-district Council Chairperson Lesedi Boy has confirmed that reports on the delays by social workers do reach his desk, and unfortunately as a politician he deals with them in his capacity as the Council Chairperson but has assured that he will engage with the administrative wing to rectify the situation in his jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, Okavango Sub-Council Assistant Council Secretary Losika Kula confirmed that the cases of this nature are a concern to them as a council, emphasising for a need to meet as health authorities and council address the matter.

He emphasised the need for all hospitals to have social workers who would attend to such urgent issues and make sure that patients get assisted timely instead of being sent to council’s social work department.

 “If at all the hospitals do not have enough warrants for transporting patients then they should inform us and we will gladly help than to let the same people that the government want us to serve suffer while there are resources available for them,” he added.

Kula indicated that the assessment report is very vital in any government office that deals with money especially with councils because there are reports that are needed for accountability.

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