03 Nov 2016 16:10pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 03 NOV (NAMPA) The National Medical Outreach Services initiative will continue until staff shortages in regional and district hospitals are addressed, programme coordinator, Dr Ruben Kanime said on Thursday.
The programme was started by Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku in March 2015 and consists of teams of public and private health professionals.
Speaking to Nampa in a telephonic interview on Thursday, Kanime said besides specialist care, the teams focus on internal medicine consultations, in-service training on wound care, diabetic education, and high care nursing.
In-service training is necessitated by the lack of staff in the regions, which sometimes is so severe that the transfer of skills cannot take place.
The shortage of staff and specialists remain a concern at peripheral hospitals. This is so critical that in some regions, there are not enough staff to transfer skills to and as such we concentrate our attention on those areas to break the backlog of waiting lists.
Kanime however added that mechanisms are in place to deal with this problem.
The outreach programme will continue until there are fully capacitated systems at district hospitals while some will soon be upgraded to regional and training health facilities.
The outreach visit to the //Kharas Region will take place from 07 to 11 November. This is the second visit to the region after the first in February this year.
Team members will operate from the Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz state hospitals, also accommodating patients from the various surrounding towns and villages.
Kanime said the programme has made a great difference in the lives of many people in the remote parts of the country.
It cuts referrals and waiting periods for patients and shortens the booking list at the national referral hospital (Windhoek Central Hospital) for specialist care.
The team to the far south includes specialists in the orthopaedic, gynaecology, anaesthetic, paediatric, urology and radiology fields.
The minister will conduct operations at Lüderitz as from 09 November.
The outreach programme officially commenced in April 2015 and since then, covered 1 509 surgical operations, 414 ultrasound consultations and 1 662 outpatient consultations countrywide.
The //Kharas outreach will double as a follow-up visit to previous outreach patients, giving the team an opportunity to review those patients operated on, while new patients will similarly be accommodated.