Driven by high rates of poverty and unemployment, most Batswana cannot afford quality healthcare, which would in the short to medium term affect their lifespan and economic productivity, says Moraki Mokgosana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Medical Aid (BOMAID).

Mokgosana was speaking at the Second Annual Weins Financial Planning Convention 2017 in Gaborone this week.

The BOMAID boss said that Botswana’s deteriorating health care and facilities might see the country suffering 10 years down the line, because the health of the country is measured by its wealth. Driving his point home, Mokgosana, who is also former Managing Director at Botswana’s sole listed securities services firm, G4S, said that because the wealthy countries are able to afford good health for its citizen, then the lifespan and productivity of citizens remains high, while countries in the midst of poverty tend to have lower lifespans and reduced productivity because of lack of health.

Botswana’s unemployment rate is estimated at 17.7 percent by Statistics Botswana, although most argue that on the ground, Botswana’s unemployment seems to be way higher than what government may say. According to Mokgosana, the higher the unemployment rate, the more the people who cannot afford sound healthcare.

Mkgosana’s words strike chord with those of Jeffrey Sachs a development economist in his book titled “The End of Poverty”. In the book he notes that the link between health and income seems pretty uncontroversial. After all, healthy people can work longer and harder than sick people.

The CEO has noted that the lack of medication in most public health facilities poses as problem for those who cannot afford to pay at private facilities. This according to Mokgosana if not properly looked into will continue pushing the country’s life expectancy further down the ranking. He noted that the country’s life expectancy in 2015 was between 49 and 64 years. Although the world rankings have placed Botswana at position 135 it has continued to lag behind Lesotho’s 49, 96 and Mozambique’s 37 and 55.

Mokgosana noted that if a change in lifestyle does not occur soon, life expectancy will not increase but rather deteriorate.
The small country with an estimated population of 2.2 million has been registered to have had an infant mortality rate of 116 cases of death per 1000 children then. With an estimated 31 percent in 2008, the CEO highlighted that the number of death caused by Non-Communicable diseases (NCD’s) is on the rise. Although the Government is contributing 75 percent to the health care expenditure, the private facilities have to make up for the difference, an act which sometimes seems too expensive on clients, he noted .

Even though it seems like NDC’s are making a substantial contribution to mortality cases, HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases account for half of the deaths he added.
The Second Annual Weins Financial Planning Convention 2017, was organized by financial planner Arnold Tsile Director of Weins Financial Planning. According to Tsile the convention was introduced after a realization that the importance of comprehensive planning has not been fully appreciated by the market participants, including clients and the broader financial services in general.

In his views, the development of the industry has placed the focus on sales, fund selection and product features. He however said that with time it has become clearer that this approach has not delivered meaningful value to clients. To him, planning has become more important as a result of increasing complexity in tax, pension and financial services legislation. “

We are also dealing with a more demanding client wanting to understand the context in which financial planning advice is being offered. Corporates and other institutions employ entire teams of highly skilled people to do planning (strategic, financial and organizational), and ensure that they achieve their long term objectives. The same should apply to individuals as they too have objectives that they wish to achieve,” he said.

He said the event was meant to provide a platform bringing together industry players and stakeholders to engage and interact on issues that should see the industry improving for the better. He hopes that at the end of the convention stakeholders, both financial services providers and the consumer shall have a clear understanding of how they can bridge the existing gap between them to advance their symbiotic relationship