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Mahalapye District Hospital Open Day By His Honour The Vice-...
Mahalapye District Hospital Open Day By His Honour The Vice-President Lt. General M.S. Meraphe
Director of Ceremonies,
Honourable Assistant Minister of Health, Rre Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, Members of the Diplomatic Community and International Organizations here present, Honourable Members of Parliament here present, CDC Chairman, Honourable Lesego Raditanka, District Officer For Mahalapye sub-District, Rre Monyakeng Motshwarelela Kgosikgolo ya Bangwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, Kgosi Segotsi, wa motse wa Mahalapye Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Our gathering here today marks a historic event in which the hospital has opened its doors to welcome members of the public for a healthy interaction not motivated by ill health. To the best of my recollection, Director of Ceremonies, today's occasion is the first event of its kind at this institution and therefore a cause for jubilant festivity.

2. My understanding is that this event is meant to publicize the hospital as a place of friendly and transparent service. Therefore if we are to build a hospital culture that addresses the needs of its people, it is important that the people being served should be well-informed about what is on offer at the health facility. While this may be viewed as rendering the hospital more vulnerable to criticism given that some shortcomings may be found, it is important to operate on the understanding that all feedback is crucial for continuous improvement. It is therefore my hope that this day will underscore the wave of change towards providing efficient service and quality healthcare for the entire Mahalapye District.

3. Director of Ceremonies, Ladies and Gentlemen, as you may all be aware, Mahalapye District Hospital opened it doors in August 2008. The hospital functions as a referral centre for a population of not less than 110,000 people from Mahalapye West, Mahalapye East, Shoshong and Tswapong South Constituencies. This hospital is amongst the four district hospitals that were recently completed as part of government's effort to improve access to medical care. The four state of the art hospitals are a clear demonstration of the commitment of this Government to uplifting the standards of living of its citizens through provision of quality health care services. I am confident that through these efforts we will achieve our goal of providing health for all by the year 2016. 

4. Today's Open Day event is a way of bridging the communication gap between the hospital and the community it serves. I have no doubt that all present will get the opportunity to appreciate the specialist services rendered to all the surrounding village clinics in the Mahalapye Sub District. It is my view that when people function from an informed position, there is less speculation and more trust, which in turn will create a level of confidence by the public in the services provided. 

5. Director of Ceremonies, as you may be aware, this facility provides various improved, good quality, affordable and cost effective specialist patient care services previously associated only with referral hospitals such as Nyangabgwe in Francistown and Princess Marina in Gaborone. These services include Accident & Emergency, Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy to mention but a few. The hospital is also equipped with high technology equipment and machinery in such areas of critical importance as theatre, laboratory, physiotherapy, radiology, catering, laundry and boiler house. Since its inception, the hospital has also been providing on-the-job training to young Batswana in medicine, nursing, information technology, management and other allied health programmes. 

6. The Hospital logo which reads "Botsogo ke khumo" or "A Healthy Nation is a Wealthy Nation" reaffirms our commitment to the reality that the economic success of any nation is inextricably linked to the good health of its people. In the same spirit, Botswana Government continues to reassure citizens of its unwavering commitment to good health for all as evidenced by the incremental budget, over the years, for the health sector since independence.

7. Bagaetsho, I wish to reiterate the fact that Government alone cannot succeed in addressing the national health challenges. Active participation and commitment from members of the public and other stakeholders, especially the private sector, is crucial. However, some actions by our citizens militate against the efforts of Government to improve delivery of quality health services. 

8. To date, problems related to alcohol abuse and road accidents continue to consume much of the revenue that would otherwise be used for improvement of health services. HIV and AIDS, Road Traffic Accidents (RTA) and Alcohol Related Problems remain the most challenging health issues in this country. It is a fact that the three A's of Alcohol, Aids and Accidents as well as drug abuse defeat the positive gains made by Botswana over the years. This is the reason why Government decided to strengthen punitive measures against all those who continue to abuse alcohol and needlessly violate road traffic regulations, measures which have been termed draconian by our detractors. However I want to assure you that Government will continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure the preservation of the valuable lives of our citizens.

9. Director of Ceremonies, I want to conclude my remarks by encouraging every individual to take personal responsibility for their own health. Let us all invest in our wellbeing for the realization of a Healthy Nation by 2016 and thereby become a wealthy nation. I thank you.
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