New hospital to open soon

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MASERU — Lesotho’s new M1.2 billion referral hospital will open its doors on October 1, the principal secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, ‘Malerato Khoeli, told a press conference on Tuesday.
Khoeli said Tšepong Hospital will start working once Queen Elizabeth II Hospital closes down on September 31.
“The new hospital will be a referral centre. That means patients will not decide on their own to go for consultations at the hospital but they will be referred there by doctors only when it is necessary,” she said.
She added that all services will be provided at Mabote, Qoaling, Likotse and Domiciliary Filter Clinics.
The Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) and Loreto clinics would also be used by the public.
“The LDF and Loreto will be refurbished to meet the standards of the other filter clinics. All the centres will have doctors and other health practitioners,” Khoeli said.
Fees would remain low at the new hospital because the government was subsidising them in an effort to increase the public’s access to health services.
“People seem to be intimidated by the luxury that goes with the hospital. They think charges will be higher. That is not so. Charges will remain same,” Khoeli said.
Consultation fees are M15 for adults and M7.50 for children.
However, charges would be high for people who request special treatment.
Khoeli added, “Tšepong Hospital has a private wing where people who want extra care will be accommodated. Fees are not subsidised for such requirements.
Meanwhile the principal secretary appealed to people whose relatives have died to come and collect their bodies from government mortuaries.
“People have a tendency to keep their deceased ones at government mortuaries.
These facilities are not meant to keep bodies for long but for a short time while relatives prepare to take them to private morgues,” she said.
“Some people end up disowning their dead relatives. We appeal to people who still have their dead relatives at the Queen II to collect their bodies before
the hospital closes down at end of September.
“Queen II is more than 100 years and the buildings are worn out. It cannot be repaired because it has lived beyond its lifespan,” Khoeli said.

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