Health PS reflects on challenges

06 Nov 2018 07:10am
WINDHOEK, 06 NOV (NAMPA) – Despite having limited financial and human resources in place, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) has the mammoth task of ensuring that Namibians enjoy the highest healthcare quality possible, Permanent Secretary, Ben Nangombe has said.
Nangombe said this in response to questions by Nampa, on the sidelines of the joint meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) health ministers here on Monday.
“Finances are a problem. We are challenged (but) we are happy that (during) the mid-term budget review, the ministry was allocated some resources which will go towards recruiting professionals,” Nangombe said.
Furthermore, the ministry is expected to get additional funds transferred from its capital projects, also for the purpose of recruiting professionals.
“What we need to know is that it’s not all about money. It’s really about how we maximise the utilisation. How do we make sure that what we have, we maximise the use thereof in order to achieve the results that we want.”
For the 2018/19 financial year, the ministry received N.dollars 6.5 billion from treasury, a 10 per cent decrease from the preceding year.
However, during the mid-year budget review, this figure was revised upwards with N.dollars 175 million for the purchase of pharmaceuticals and personnel expenditure.
As for the human capacity, Nangombe said the ministry needs to train nurses, doctors and other medical practitioners.
“If our human resources are not where we need them, we will not be able to provide healthcare,” he added.
To this end, about 230 medical graduates (doctors) are expected to join the public health sector as interns.
To accommodate the graduates, the ministry is busy upgrading its facilities.
“So that we train them and equip them with necessary skills and can deploy them at the areas where they are needed,” the PS noted.
To achieve its mandate, the ministry has prioritised taking good care of its existing infrastructure and equipment, Nangombe said.
It is currently in the process of procuring equipment such as anaesthetic machines and X-ray machines.
“If we don’t have the necessary equipment, our doctors will not be able to carry out certain functions.”