Private industry urged to support health sector

08 Nov 2016 08:10am
KEETMANSHOOP, 08 NOV (NAMPA) – Coordinator of the National Medical Outreach Services, Dr. Ruben Kanime on Monday made an appeal to the private sector to make financial contributions to the public health industry.
Kanime is part of a 21-member team of medical professionals conducting an outreach in the //Kharas Region from 07 to 11 November. The national outreach programme aims to provide patients with specialist medical care, and is a voluntary initiative started a year ago by Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Bernard Haufiku to deal with the backlog of patients in need of specialist treatment.
Kanime told Nampa in an interview at the Keetmanshoop State Hospital that health is the responsibility of all Namibians.
He explained that health emergencies such as road accidents and violent incidents around liquor outlets are public occurrences that break the back of the health sector.
Despite the large national budget allocation to health, more is needed for the provision of quality patient care, he said.
“We desperately need sponsorships for this outreach programme, while health centres need assistance to purchase medical equipment.”
Kanime said corporates and ‘tender-preneurs’ could consult with hospitals on the types of equipment needed and could buy it themselves.
The outreach doctors and staff are volunteers from the public and private sector.
Kanime said they do the work for free but it would be a good day if their accommodation is taken care of.
The doctors are scheduled to see at least 418 patients, of which 210 require surgical operations during their week in the //Kharas.
These are people who were booked for specialist consultations in Windhoek but this service now cuts their waiting period and the bloated lists at the Windhoek Central Hospital and the Katutura State Hospital.
Hundreds more patients are expected to walk in to see the doctors.
“We are inundated with patients who come from far during the outreaches. Many will stay at home with a health concern and only come when the teams visit their regions.”
Kanime, who is an orthopaedic doctor, is set to attend to 116 cases in Keetmanshoop and at the Lüderitz State Hospital.
“Orthopaedic cases in this region are quite high and many are in the advanced stages. A lot of the patients bear the pain for a long time or treat it with painkillers before finally seeking help.”
Orthopaedic cases involve complications in the bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons, and are more common in senior citizens.