Parties promise transformed healthcare system

28 Oct 2014 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 28 OCT (NAMPA) – Newly-registered Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) have promised to provide improved medical care to Namibians, if elected into power.
The party’s 2014 election manifesto for the Presidential and National Assembly elections slated for 28 November this year reveals that the party has prioritised the training of professionals and community healthcare practitioners in this sector.
“The NEFF government will build a State pharmaceutical company to produce medicines, and distribute them to hospitals and clinics.
The NEFF government will speed up the implementation of National Health Insurance; and will distribute free sanitary towels to poor women,” the manifesto reads.
The party also promises to ensure that proper accommodation near hospitals is in place for expecting women and patient caretakers.
Currently, women in the rural areas move to shacks erected near hospitals when their due dates approach to ensure that they are close to a hospital once they go into labour.
The Congress of Democrats (CoD) in its manifesto promises to transform the current health and welfare system in the country by introducing total and comprehensive access for all Namibians to health and medical facilities.
The party also promises to implement medical aid and medical insurance, and a pension system which will cater for both government and private sector employees.
The CoD’s 2014 manifesto furthermore says the party is committed to providing medical insurance for registered church functionaries such as bishops, pastors and other registered social and religious employees, as well as employees in the farming and domestic sectors; war veterans and the children of war veterans.
“The CoD is aware of the burden of responsibility placed on the shoulders of any democratic government, arising from the fact of the liberation war for independence.
However, the CoD believes in the equal treatment of all war veterans. Whereas the wounds caused by colonialism and political oppression are still raw and painful, our philosophy of equality shall apply,” stresse the manifesto.
For its part, the DTA of Namibia believes Namibia needs a holistic care system which is universally accessible, affordable and effective, and which dramatically reduces out-of-pocket spending on health.
“We will call for radical reforms in the healthcare system with regards to national healthcare programmes and delivery, medical education and training and the financing of healthcare.
Our government would focus on reforms in healthcare, such as the last healthcare policy which dates back to 2010,” the party says in its manifesto.
It further states that Namibia needs a comprehensive healthcare policy to address complex challenges, keeping in mind developments in the healthcare sector and changing demographics.
“The DTA will initiate this new health policy,” it states.
The party will in addition review the role of various professional regulatory bodies in healthcare, and consider setting up an overarching lean body for healthcare.
It also sets itself a target of addressing the shortfall of healthcare professionals; modernise government hospitals; upgrade infrastructure; and increase the number of medical and paramedical colleges to make Namibia self-sufficient in human resources.
The Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), meanwhile, promises to overhaul the entire public health sector to provide quality, efficient and prompt services by publicising and implementing the Social Security Commission (SSC)-backed National Medical Insurance; introducing a national Basic Income Grant (BIG) as a safety net for especially vulnerable people who live below the poverty line; and provide accessible health facilities to rural communities.
The RDP further promises to review and improve benefits and working conditions for all medical personnel; provide nutritional support to needy people living with HIV/AIDS; instil sound work and professional ethics amongst medical personnel; invest substantially in world standard training of medical personnel; and prioritise primary healthcare.
The party further promises to increase old-age pensions to N.dollars 1 000 per month; and regularly revise pensions to align it to the cost of living.
The United Democratic Front (UDF) also promises to introduce a holistic healthcare system which is universally accessible and affordable.
“The UDF accords high priority to the health sector, which is crucial for securing a healthy nation.
The overarching goal of healthcare would be to provide health assurance to all Namibians,” it says in its manifesto.
The current ruling party, the Swapo-Party has promised to provide new public health services such as preventive and curative services, and introduce healthcare packages and specialised services to district and regional hospitals to enhance access to health facilities.
“Our promise is to continue promoting programmes which address both communicable and non-communicable diseases; the development of health technology; and to upgrade the deployment of health technology in detecting and monitoring diseases, treatment and research,” the Swapo-Party manifesto says.