By Confidente Reporter
THE Minister of Health and Social Services (MoHSS), Bernard Haufiku, on Tuesday announced that his ministry has made great strides in finalizing the much needed medical equipment supplies tender, in a bid to alleviate the critical shortage at health facilities countrywide.
Lack of basic, yet critical medical equipment has in recent times threatened the lives of many patients after doctors postponed their operations.
“On infrastructure, we are still battling but I am informed that a tender for medical equipment services has been finalized and will be with the Central Procurement Board very soon for final decision and allocation.
“Once this has been successfully done, the problem of lack of medical equipment in the ministry will be a thing of the past,” said Haufiku during the opening of the National Management Development Forum that is currently underway in Windhoek.
Haufiku added that under the medical agreement, all diagnostic and operational equipment such as MRI scans and sonar machines at regional level will be provided.
“…Oshakati hospital needs an MRI scan and radiation oncology department haa to be equipped with either a cobalt based or linear accelerator machine. The same could be said of the coast, Katima Mulilo, Keetmanshoop, Otjiwarongo and Opuwo district hospital. These are not luxuries but basic necessities.
“Also, it is hoped that the legal issues pertaining to renal dialysis machines will soon be resolved so that the state can be in a position to render this much needed services to all Namibians.”
While addressing senior health leaders from all regions, Haufiku also said that health professionals will now be held accountable for their actions as the ministry strives to improve quality health services through various programmes.
“The introduction of name badges, clinical navigators and a national call center will go a long way in improving service and therefore customer satisfaction. Obviously more than often patients or public attitude towards staff also makes things worse, as often, patients abuse nurses or doctors especially at emergency departments particularly those who would be under the influence of alcohol. The public must thus understand and support our efforts to service them under a friendly environment and spirit of mutual respect and cooperation.”
He also said that the ministry is working closely with the Southern Health Councils Association (COHSASA) to establish and maintain standards in the public health sector.
The minister also noted with concern about vehicles parked at health facilities in all regions, while community health workers and nurses who go on outreach programmes struggle with transport.
“We must change this and make optimal use of allocated vehicles and transfer those that are written off to the Ministry of Works and Transport for immediate auctioning.”
Another area that will help improve services, Haufiku added, is the eHealth project, which he says is a basic necessity for a smooth and faster management of patient records.
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