By Maria Kandjungu
Three weeks later Erongo State hospitals are still feeding their in patients through food donated by good Samaritans since the beginning of this month when the catering company responsible for providing food services to the hospitals pulled the plug due to alleged none payment.
Early this month, Swakopmund, and Walvis Bay state hospitals, Omaruru and Karibib district hospitals were left high and dry since September 1, after the catering company, Tyetu Trading Enterprises stopped it services citing lack of payment by the Health Ministry.
However the Ministry had said there are invoices that indicate that the company had been paid contrary to its version of events.
Health Minister Bernard Haufiku updated the National Assembly last week on the situation at the hospitals in region with regards to food supplies to patients.
“Currently the patients are receiving food in Erongo supplied by the hospitals through the food banks established by the Mayor and Governor,” Haufiku stated.
Haufiku further stated that the Ministry has issued the Erongo region with emergency procurement authorisation which enables them to buy and provide food for preparations to in-patients.
According to Haufiku, the Ministry has however not yet started providing food due to few technical issues that need to be sorted out first.
Haufiku added that the hospitals need to exhaust the donated food before the Ministry can start buying food to avoid the risk of the donated food getting spoiled.
“The Ministry has approached the Central Procurement Board requesting for emergency procurement method to be granted for them to source services from the current suppliers rending catering services to the Ministry in other regions,” Haufiku added.
The Minister further noted that the current tender ends in October and Ministry is in the process of considering new tenders.
According to Haufiku, although food was being prepared outside the tender there was lot of services that were already being done in-house.
This he said include people who were taking food to patients, adding that even the pots and cutlery the company was using belonged to the Ministry.
He added that the Ministry will either tighten their requirements to tenderers or consider doing catering services in-house where food will be procured by the Ministry and prepared by the Ministry staff at the hospital’s kitchens.
Following Tyetu Trading Enterprises pull out, Erongo Regional Council took matters into their own hands, forming a crisis committee and launching an emergency food bank to arrest the situation.
The emergency response driven by the Office of the Governor called for local business and individuals to make donations to the food bank in efforts to temporary feed the patients while they are working at finding a lasting solution.
Companies such as Midwater Fishing company, Erongo Marine Enterprises the Arechanab Community Trust and many others made contributions to the bank.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015