N$6m to upgrade Omuthiya hospitalBy: OSWALD SHIVUTE
GOVERNMENT must fork out a hefty N$6 million to upgrade the Omuthiya district hospital, which has yet to open its doors to the public.
Health Minister Richard Kamwi said the hospital, built by a Chinese company with a grant from that country’s government, was below the required standard for Namibian hospitals.
Kamwi visited the North this week to familiarise himself with the progress made with the construction of a new nuclear medicine department as well as the new maternity ward at the Oshakati State Hospital.
He said there were some shortcomings at the Omuthiya hospital that have to be rectified before it can function as a proper hospital.
The Chinese government used its own contractors to build the hospital.
Kamwi said the Namibian Government appreciated the gift from China and cannot force the Chinese government to rectify the shortcomings because it was a “gift”.
When President Hifikepunye Pohamba officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Omuthiya hospital he had said it would be built with a grant from China.
Only the outpatient department is now in use, in the form of a clinic.
The plan is that it will later advance to a health centre with seven registered nurses, eight enrolled nurses, cleaners and administration support officials as well as as two doctors and a superintendent. It will have 70 beds.
China Jiangsu International Namibia started building the hospital in 2009 and finished it towards the end of last year.
They handed it over to the Namibian Government but the building started falling apart before it could be opened.