MASERU — Lesotho’s new biggest referral health centre, Tšepong Hospital, opened its doors to patients on Saturday.
The M1.2 billion centre, situated in Lepereng just outside Maseru town, replaces Queen Elizabeth II which served the country for more than 100 years as a referral hospital.
‘Mateboho Mosebekoane, a public relations officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, confirmed that the new multi-million hospital was opened last weekend.
Mosebekoane said patients were transferred from Queen Elizabeth II Hospital to Tšepong Hospital on the same day.
She added that Tšepong hospital was now offering most services to patients.
Only the theatre is not yet functional, she said.
The principal secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, ‘Malerato Khoeli, told a press conference recently that Queen Elizabeth II Hospital would close down on September 31.
Khoeli said the new hospital would strictly be a referral centre.
All clinical services would be provided at Mabote, Qoaling, Likotse and Domicilliary Filter Clinics.
“The new hospital will be a referral. That means patients will not decide on their own to go for consultations at the hospital. They will be referred there by doctors only when it is necessary,” Khoeli said.
She added that the Lesotho Defence Force and Loreto clinics would also be used by the public.
The two health centres would be refurbished to meet the standards of the other filter clinics.
Khoeli said charges would remain the same at the new Tšepong Hospital, with consultation fees standing at M15 for adults and M7.50 for children.
However, patients in need of special treatment would fork out more.
The government of Lesotho is subsidising fees in an effort to increase the public’s access to health services.
“Tšepong Hospital has a private wing where people who want extra care will be accommodated. Fees are not subsidised for such requirements,” Khoeli said.