Rural health facilities dilapidated

Rural health facilities dilapidated

THE physical state of many health facilities in Namibia is dire, the National Council was told this week.On Wednesday, a Standing Committee appointed by the House to visit the Caprivi, Kavango, Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena and Kunene regions reported the findings of its month-long investigation, and its revelations were not flattering.

“In Outjo,” committee chairperson Hilma Nicanor told the NC, “the entire hospital complex is dilapidated, some patients’ rooms are without bedding, ceilings are hanging, the mortuary is not in a good working condition – generally the hospital is not fit for human habitation.” She said the new casualty and psychiatric units at the Oshakati State hospital did not meet the standard building regulations, while the casualty department is too small and lacks air-conditioning.”Patients have to withstand excruciating heat and overcrowding,” she said.Ambulances are in short supply in most of the regions, the committee reported, while hospital staff are considered insufficient, and roads in most of the areas poor.In its recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the committee proposed better pay packages for health personnel working in rural areas, as well as free housing, in order to attract them to these areas.Health professionals in rural areas often experience power cuts, and it was reported that their workload is too much for the limited staff.In his supporting speech yesterday, Omusati MP Jhonny Hakaye said these factors contribute to the number of nurses who either leave the profession or seek employment in the private sector.The report further reads that “the allocation of ambulances to rural areas should enjoy urgent attention”.It calls for special and urgent attention to be given to the renovation and rehabilitation of the Outjo State Hospital, which is said to be in a “generally deplorable state”.In conclusion, Nicanor called on ministries to consult with the regions when compiling their annual budgets, to ensure that issues deserving attention are “reflected satisfactorily”.”It is the opinion of the Committee,” she said, “that unless the Central Government constantly consults with the regions with regard to the financing of rural projects and initiatives, then the budget will have a superficial impact on rural development.”She said the new casualty and psychiatric units at the Oshakati State hospital did not meet the standard building regulations, while the casualty department is too small and lacks air-conditioning.”Patients have to withstand excruciating heat and overcrowding,” she said.Ambulances are in short supply in most of the regions, the committee reported, while hospital staff are considered insufficient, and roads in most of the areas poor.In its recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the committee proposed better pay packages for health personnel working in rural areas, as well as free housing, in order to attract them to these areas.Health professionals in rural areas often experience power cuts, and it was reported that their workload is too much for the limited staff.In his supporting speech yesterday, Omusati MP Jhonny Hakaye said these factors contribute to the number of nurses who either leave the profession or seek employment in the private sector.The report further reads that “the allocation of ambulances to rural areas should enjoy urgent attention”.It calls for special and urgent attention to be given to the renovation and rehabilitation of the Outjo State Hospital, which is said to be in a “generally deplorable state”.In conclusion, Nicanor called on ministries to consult with the regions when compiling their annual budgets, to ensure that issues deserving attention are “reflected satisfactorily”.”It is the opinion of the Committee,” she said, “that unless the Central Government constantly consults with the regions with regard to the financing of rural projects and initiatives, then the budget will have a superficial impact on rural development.”

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