Budget allocation for Health Ministry not enough: Haufiku

11 Mar 2018 12:50pm
WINDHOEK, 11 MAR (NAMPA) – Minister of Health and Social Services, Bernard Haufiku, has expressed concern that the N.dollars 6.5 billion budget allocation for the 2018/19 financial year is not enough for projects his ministry has planned.
The ministry received N.dollars 6.2 billion in the 2017/18 financial year.
Speaking at a meeting with volunteer specialist doctors ahead of their trip to the Kavango and Erongo Regions here on Saturday, Haufiku said his ministry has debts of close to N.dollars 1 billion that need to be settled.
He said the ministry also needs more doctors, pharmacists, dentists and nurses and there are many available who have just completed their internships.
“At community level we have more than 600 people trained as community health care workers who are not placed and whom we believe will play a very crucial role at community level,” he added.
Haufiku further indicated that his ministry wants to open a paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Windhoek Central Hospital, revamp the entire trauma unit and introduce a snake bite programme.
He said the ministry put in a request to the Treasury for N.dollars 2 billion for the next three years for these projects, but only received N.dollars 100 million.
“I must admit that I underestimated the budget’s capacity to sustain us. I was going on, saying we will do more with little, but it simply does not work. We need more money as a ministry,” the Health Minister said.
He noted that for the establishment of the paediatric ICU and revamping of the trauma unit, his ministry is looking at Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).
A lot of private companies, he said, however, do not want to enter into such agreements because they describe the process as cumbersome.
They have thus suggested being awarded the projects without it going out on tender.
“A lot of private companies, big ones especially in Europe that I have met, they are not really keen on PPP. It’s another case if you say it’s a modified PPP or BOT - Build, Operate for certain period and then Transfer to the owner later,” Haufiku said.