Acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry of health Tebogo Banamile was on Tuesday at pains to explain why her Ministry was grappled with a lot of inefficiencies following a decision to centralise services.
After presenting to the Public Accounts Committee a series of events that she only termed as ‘challenges’ which ranged from shortage of health workers, insufficient fleet and transportation management shortfalls, shortage of accommodation for members of staff and shortage of medicine, Banamile was asked by MP for Tati East Moyo Guma to ascertain whether it would be fair to say the Ministry was facing a crisis. “I would not say there is a crisis, we are simply facing challenges,” Banamile responded to Moyo’s question.
Moyo, however, pointed out to Banamile that as per her presentation to the committee she had on regular basis stated that due to centralisation of services to the ministry they were now facing some inefficiency in service delivery. Banamile has also during her presentation pointed out that her ministry was planning on decentralising some of its services to improve on service delivery. When quizzed on why they had to turn back on an earlier decision to centralise Banamile said, “We realised that we were wrong, decentralisation is the way to go. It has now become clear that services are better off administered at district level,” she said.
She told the PAC that the Ministry of Health took the decision to centralize because the information that was presented to them at the time made it look like it was the best thing to do.
She made it clear that she will not have her ministry take the bullet for the mess alone. According to her, a bulk of what was happening was due to the fact that the transfer of resources was not properly handled by all ministries involved. “When nurses were transferred from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, some resources like housing and transport remained behind, hence the shortage,” she said. Due to irregularities in her presentation, the PAC ordered Banamile and her team to retrace their steps and reappear again before the committee at a later date during the seating.