14 May 2017 10:30am
ONGWEDIVA, 14 MAY (NAMPA) The Ondangwa Local Authority has expressed discontent with the shelving of the district hospital project in favour of a northern national referral hospital.
The referral hospital is to be built at either Ondangwa or Ongwediva, depending on which of the two towns donates land suitable for a health facility that will also be involved in academic training and research.
The planned hospital will be for referral patients from the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene and Zambezi.
At a consultative meeting in Ongwediva on Thursday, the Ondangwa political and administrative officials said they were disillusioned by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) decision to shelve the Ondangwa hospital without citing Ondangwa as the only location of the referral hospital.
Minister Dr Bernard Haufiku convened the meeting to sell the idea of building a facility, like the Windhoek Central Hospital, in the Oshana Region to address the transportation of patients some 700 kilometres to Windhoek.
Haufiku said the Ondangwa district hospital construction project is to be shelved, as it cannot run concurrently with the construction of the much-needed northern referral hospital, while Government is faced with an economic downturn.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ondangwa, Ismael Namgongo was the first to demand the referral hospital be built in Ondangwa following the shelving of the district health facility.
He said the land donated by his town council the past few years for the construction of the district hospital is also suitable for the construction of the planned referral hospital and it should be used for such a project.
He believes the shelving of the district hospital is demotivating to the people of Ondangwa, especially if the referral hospital will not be built there.
Speaking to Nampa shortly after the meeting, Ondangwa Mayor, Paavo Amwele said there is no need for Government to seek other land while his town has already made two separate areas available for the hospital project.
The majority of the meeting attendees agreed that independent geo-scientific consultants be hired to determine if the land in Ondangwa or that in Ongwediva is suitable for the establishment of a double storey referral hospital building.
The Ondangwa officials rejected such an approach.
The MoHSS in 2015 approved the construction of the Ondangwa district hospital after the council of Ondangwa donated the land.
Namgongo told the meeting that a feasibility study has already been conducted on that land but did not reveal the results.