Omuthiya hospital doesn’t meet standardsBy: DENVER KISTING
RICHARD Kamwi, the Minister of Health and Social Services, yesterday admitted that the Omuthiya Hospital – built in conjunction with the Chinese government – does not yet comply with hospital standards.
Kamwi said even if the Chinese have their standards for establishing hospitals, his ministry needs to make sure that the facility meets Namibian standards.
Among other things, the cooking facilities are not up to scratch, Kamwi said yesterday afternoon.
He said at this stage there is only one cooking pot and “that cannot allow us to open. The truth must be told – we are faced with challenges. There is no way we can open it to the general public [because it] does not meet with what a hospital [requires].”
On November 15 2009, President Hifikepunye Pohamba announced during the groundbreaking ceremony that the hospital construction came about thanks to a N$69 million grant from China.
Because Omuthiya is the capital of the Oshikoto Region, “Government identified the need for a district hospital to be constructed to serve as a referral for outreach points for primary healthcare clinics and health centres within the boundaries of Omuthiya,” Pohamba boasted.
Due to the delays in establishing a functioning hospital, it was decided to open the facility as a day clinic as from next Thursday, Kamwi said yesterday. “There will be no admissions.”
Kamwi said he could not give an indication as to when the clinic would be able to function as a hospital. “I cannot give you that. [The Ministry of] Works must be satisfied.”
Asked what would happen to the equipment that was meant for the hospital, Kamwi said: “They are well kept. I wouldn’t say so [that the equipment will become elephants].”
Kamwi maintained that the facility will eventually function as a 60-bed hospital.
During the groundbreaking in 2009, Pohamba said the hospital would have a medical building, an emergency department, a pharmacy, a laboratory, an operating theatre, a central sterile supply department, maternity, paediatric and tuberculosis wards. It would also have a kitchen, laundry facilities, administrative buildings, a mortuary, an incinerator and doctors’ and nurses’ living quarters.
The Head of State further announced that the hospital would be instrumental in fighting HIV-AIDS and “provide for other health services such as routine immunisation of all infants and children as well as the improvement and expansion of reproductive health care for expecting women in order to reduce maternal mortality rates”.