Botswana's Ambassador To The U.S. Talks Health Care At St. Joe's

Jun 17, 2014

There are plenty of ways the health care system in the African nation of Botswana appears to be doing a better job than the U.S. health care system, but both countries can also learn from each other.

Her Excellency Tebelelo Seretse, the Republic of Botswana's ambassador to the U.S., speaks with staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor.
Her Excellency Tebelelo Seretse, the Republic of Botswana's ambassador to the U.S., speaks with staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor.
Credit Bob Eccles

That's the assessment from her Excellency Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana's ambassador to the U.S., who spoke with staff at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor Monday afternoon. 

The ambassador says it can take a person in Washington D.C. two weeks to get an appointment with a private physician.

"In Botswana I can walk into any clinic - yes, I might wait three hours because I walk in without an appointment - but I will still get assistance quickly," Seretse says.

On the other hand, the ambassador says Botswana doesn't do a very good job of taking care of people with disabilities or mental health problems. 

She visited St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor as part of a visit to the Detroit area for the Presbytery U.S.A. general assembly, where she's participating in a panel presentation.

Some interesting facts about the Republic of Botswana:

  • Home to more elephants than any other country
  • Education provided free to citizens through college
  • Diamonds are the country's top export
  • U.S. visitors can stay for up to 90 days without a visa.
  • Will be celebrating its 50th anniversary as an independent nation in 2016

Check out the Republic of Botswana's website:

http://www.gov.bw/