To begin with who is responsible to ensure these key activities are at all functioning? Why is there no availability of water at all times, no booklets to record patientsí history and power interruptions at the theatre? And what could be done to arrest the situation?
To begin with, in any ministry in government, 60 percent of the challenges highlighted earlier falls under the directorate/division general services, sub-division maintenance and procurement. Under sub-division maintenance thatís where you find plumbers, electricians and inter alia, depending on the ministryís needs. The procurement division focuses on logistics which involve purchasing/procuring of services, goods/equipment/items which also include stationery such as books. Whether the staff under such sub-division are allocated sufficient resources to execute their duties and are accountable will not be answered here.
From a strategic point of view there seems to be a lack of or inappropriate contingency plan. This is visible when water (cold) supplies could not be provided to the theatre when needed and when the power goes off while doctors want to operate, thereby endangering the life of patients.
From my observation, the two top infirmaries in the country, especially Katutura hospital, do not have reservoir water tank connected to critical areas such as theatre, ward and the kitchen to ensure uninterrupted water supply in case of a pipe burst that supplies water to hospital. Secondly, there is no alternative electricity in case of power interruptions.
I therefore recommend that: those hospitals should have reservoir tanks that would supply water to critical areas of the hospital in case of water pipe burst or any other factor that is likely to hinder or reduce the water supply to such hospital. It should also consider purchasing solar power for use in case of power interruptions or alternatively acquire new generators, to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Finally, itís imperative that organisations take accountability as a key factor to performance and the ministry is no exception.Meanwhile sufficient allocation of resources both human and capital resources will go a long way towards improving the health care system.
Patrick H Ntupi