08 Apr 2017 09:00am
WINDHOEK, 08 APR (NAMPA) - Filling vacant medical positions at the Military Hospital at Grootfontein has been compounded by the highly specialised nature of the careers.
Minister of Defence, Penda Ya Ndakolo highlighted this in the National Assembly on Wednesday, when he motivated the ministry's budget for the 2017/18 financial year.
Ya Ndakolo said loss of medical professionals was a result of retirement, resignations, inter-ministerial transfers and deaths.
This, he said, resulted in under-spending of N.dollars 3 744 182 453 from a total budget of N.dollars 3 808 710 608 under its personnel expenditure programme.
However, figures provided in the minister's budget speech reflect the 2015/16 financial year.
The delayed intake of military recruits also had a ripple effect on underspending on salaries, transport, rations and uniforms.
Ya Ndakolo furthermore stated that contractors failed to complete work at the Military Hospital before the end of the 2016/17 financial year, which he said was a result of under-spending.
The contracted work included renovations and installations, fencing of the Tuberculosis (TB) Clinic, adjustment of the refrigerator temperature at the mortuary, supply of anaesthesia and a sonar machine and renovation and construction at the Peter Mweshihange Military Health Centre in Windhoek.
The ministry could not bring in the 1 000 military recruits in 2016 which was budgeted for, after government put a halt on recruitment of the military.
He said some of the challenges faced by the Ministry of Defence at high level was costly foreign training due to insufficient specialised military training institutions in Namibia; insufficient budget allocations to keep track with advanced defence technology; and the time-frame required for defence equipment to be manufactured in foreign countries due to a lack of local capacity.
The ministry was allocated N.dollars 7 025 264 000 from the N.dollars 62.5 billion National Budget for the 2017/18 financial year.