Health Ministry introduces Open Days

By Paulina Ndalikokule

FOLLOWING a spate of recent media reports about hospitals being hard hit by shortages of medicine, broken machines, cases of bad behaviour and bad attitude displayed by some of its staff, the Health Ministry recently introduced an information-sharing day.

The Open Day took place at Windhoek Central Hospital last Friday, where staff from various departments came out into the corridors to give information about the services offered in the public hospital.

Health Minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula, who briefly joined the event, described it as a good initiative that should be emulated.

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“The patients have not had the chance to appreciate what we are doing. We want the public to know about the people that are looking after the patients,” he said.

Also speaking at the Open Day was the health executive director Ben Nangombe, who stressed that the ministry was working hard to reduce incidents of bad behaviour and unhelpful attitudes displayed by some of its staff and to improve its facilities.

“The way we can improve is by ensuring we get the basics right, such as getting record keeping right and flawless, including maintenance and cleanliness.

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We have to acknowledge the problem and tackle it,” he said.

The executive director said last year Windhoek Central Hospital alone treated close to 100 000 outpatients and around 7 000 operations were performed there. He said apart from the outpatients treated, the hospital also performed 5 600 baby deliveries last year while 25 000 patients were admitted and 17 000 X-rays performed.

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“It means we are working hard to provide the needed services to the public. The cardiac unit and intensive care unit were recently supplied with modern equipment and although there are shortages of equipment we do have some and we are working.

He said the ministry’s successes over the years outweighed the challenges still faced, adding that the ministry is working hard to create close to 4 000 to 5 000 jobs to address staff shortages. He added that it is possible to employ all the needed staff step by step.

The ministry plans to host similar events at hospitals across the country. The Open Day last week was hosted under the theme ‘Know your referral hospital better’.

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