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.”