Health ministry to focus on customer care

10 Apr 2018 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 10 APR (NAMPA) – The provision of professional, equitable and efficient healthcare services tops the agenda of the Ministry of Health and Social Services for 2018 in a bid to salvage its frail reputation.
Acting Permanent Secretary Petronella Masabane said this in an interview with Nampa recently, adding that they want to restore the public trust in the ministry.
Masabane said its improved customer care services will be premised on primary healthcare – the cornerstone of health services.
According to Masabane, the ministry’s services are under-appreciated due to employee attitude towards its clients.
“We are going to go out full force to improve customer care so that people have confidence in the services we are delivering,” said Masabane.
The ministry will ensure that its clients feel respected, are treated with dignity and provided with the best quality healthcare affordable, she said.
“Our services are not bad. We have excellent, well-trained personnel. We have fairly good infrastructure. We are fairly well-equipped. I am not saying it’s the best. But comparatively speaking, we are not doing badly,” she said.
Asked about capacity and human resources, Masabane said: “We are getting there. We are not yet there, because we have a huge backlog in terms of human resources for health. But we are slowly moving in that direction.”
To address the backlog, the ministry will recruit hundreds of nurses.
“Of course, we are challenged that the nurses are still in training. It will take two, three years before they reach a level where they can be deployed confidently to any corner of Namibia,” noted the acting PS.
For now, shortage of funds remains the ministry’s biggest challenge, which was further dealt a blow in the 2018/18 financial year’s budgetary allocation.
In the current financial year (FY), the ministry received N.dollars 6.5 billion from Treasury, a 10 per cent decrease from the previous FY.
“Last year was tough. This year will be tougher because we have more personnel that we need to employ on a reduced budget. We have these outbreaks, which cost a lot of money,” she explained.
However, if prudent financial measures are put in place and with stakeholder and Government support, the ministry will deliver on its core mandate, she said.