State patients not turned away for non-payment: Lamberth

30 May 2017 12:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 30 MAY (NAMPA) – Patients who fail to pay the required N.dollars 4 for clinic visits are never turned away despite allegations to the contrary, //Kharas Health Directorate Control Administration Officer David Lamberth has said.
Lamberth rejected the suggestion during a meeting with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender Equality, Social Development and Family Affairs in Keetmanshoop on Monday.
The committee met with management of the directorate to get a view on a number of social issues in the region such as teenage pregnancies and health services.
Committee member Elma Dienda said complaints have been noted from the region about patients not being assisted if they fail to pay the required fee.
Lamberth responded that there is no truth in the allegation and patients are never refused health assistance as that is not the policy of the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
“I would say that some people come with a misguided attitude to health facilities and refuse to pay the minimal fee,” he added.
Lamberth said that in fact, a lot of money remains uncollected for services and issuing of health passports.
He said people lose their passports or leave it at home and come to health facilities expecting a new one for free.
“We have a fee requirement of N.dollars 10 for loss of a passport while we replace it for free once it becomes full,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer of the Keetmanshoop State Hospital, Refanus Kooper said the “attitude issue” perhaps needs to be addressed with public education regarding the payment of fees.
“What is N.dollars 4 for health care, access to medical equipment, specialised services, surgery and medication? If people pay, we could use those funds for repairs at health facilities for public benefit.”
Patients pay N.dollars 2 for chronic medication and N.dollars 8 if they bypass clinics and visit hospitals directly.
They pay N.dollars 20 for after hour visits at hospitals and N.dollars 20 for hospitalisation.