Health ministry spends N$3b on projects in decade

Kalumbi Shangula

The Ministry of Health and Social Services says it has directed N$3,37 billion to capital projects out of a total allocation of N$75,41 billion over the past 11 years.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula has disclosed this, noting that the amount spent represents a meagre 4% of the ministry’s budget.

The minister said this while recently responding to questions from Landless People’s Movement parliamentarian Edson Isaaks, who sought detailed information on the allocation and utilisation of funds by the ministry.

For the upcoming 2023/24 financial year, the ministry is slated to receive N$9,6 billion.

Shangula further provided a breakdown relating to the ministry’s activities, saying Project 2013, which was established following the Mtambanengwe Commission into the affairs and administration of the ministry, has provided fully funded scholarships at an estimated amount of N$902,6 million.

“This project was implemented between 2013 and 2023.

A total number of 685 students were offered scholarships, of which 578 successfully completed their studies.

“In addition, the ministry, through its training network, trained a total of 6 567 different health subprofessionals between 1992 and 2020, and 568 registered nurses between 2014 and 2020.

“This pre-service training was discontinued in 2020 for the ministry to focus entirely on its core mandate of public health services delivery,” Shangula said.

Additionally, the ministry has played a significant role in training healthcare professionals over the years.

“In 2020, pre-service training was discontinued to focus entirely on the core mandate of public health service delivery.
Notably, all salaries and associated expenses for the in-house ministerial programmes were covered by the ministry, while students received support from the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund for personal expenses like accommodation and transportation,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, addressing concerns about the erosion of the healthcare workforce, Shangula said the ministry has lost 8 590 healthcare workers between the 2012/13 and the 2023/24 financial years.

“These departures were due to various reasons, reflecting high mobility among healthcare workers. Importantly, the ministry has also seen gains in its healthcare workforce, including individuals who have returned to service.

“This dynamic underscores the fluid nature of healthcare personnel in the field,” he said.
– The Brief

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