The Minister of Health Selibe Mochoboroane has admitted that the ministry delayed making subsidy payments to the Christian Health Association of Lesotho (CHAL) health centres.
This has impacted negatively on rendering of healthcare services to patients by CHAL hospitals.
Mochoroane recently told reporters that in the past financial year, the government made the mistake of increasing civil servants’ salaries by five percent without increasing subvention to CHAL so that it could also increase its staff’s salaries.
“That brought challenges to CHAL to continue giving health services while its staff felt they were discriminated from other civil servants, especially other health professionals,” he said.
He said for the longest time, CHAL tried in vain to address its workers’ concerns through talks with the government.
“I have to mention that the country is faced with economic challenges to an extent that even now as we approach the end of the current financial year, CHAL’s concerns are yet to be addressed,” Mochoboroane said.
He further stated that the problem of delays in the disbursement of funds was a widespread challenge within the government.
“This does not happen to CHAL facilities only but also government-owned institutions,” he said.
“Following the notices that CHAL hospitals will increase their charges, there were talks between the two partners (CHAL and ministry of health), and an agreement to not implement the increases was reached,” he said.
The minister also indicated that it was also agreed that the government will strive to live up to its end of the bargain.
“I have committed myself as the minister to have monthly meeting with CHAL to discuss their challenges and deal with them as they come,” he said.
The advocacy and communications officer of CHAL, Lebohang Liphapang, confirmed there was a meeting between CHAL and ministry of health where it was agreed that CHAL should suspend its plan to introduce charges on health services.
Liphapang said the ministry promised to pay all the funds owned to CHAL.