Hospital cleaners not happy about outsourcing services

WINDHOEK: The idea of outsourcing of cleaning services at all state health facilities was received was not well received by some of the cleaners.

Minister of Health and Social Service Bernhard Haufiku announced on Wednesday during the meeting with health workers at Katutura Nurses home hall that due to deteriorating cleanliness at public hospitals, there is a possibility of outsourcing of cleaning services to private companies.

This is one of the measures aimed at ensuring cleanliness at Public hospitals, Haufiku said.

But, Namibia Public Workers Union shopsteward Johannes Sikwaya asked the Minister during the meeting whether he has concluded that the cleaning system in hospitals has failed.

He indicated that in most of the cases, deteriorating of cleanliness at public hospitals is caused by lack of cleaning materials.

He also wanted to find out from the Minister which are those companies to get the tenders for the cleaning of health facilities.

Another cleaner has expressed disappointment over the idea, saying that due to lack of degree, they are being outsourced.

“Because we do not have degrees, we are being outsourced to private companies. What about benefits we get from government. When are we also going to enjoy the fruits of independence,” asked the emotional-looking cleaner.

In his response, Haufiku cautioned workers not to become emotional when trying to solve problems.

He said the evidence is there that cleanliness at public hospitals is deteriorating and the idea of outsourcing is eminent.

“There will be no politics in health while I am here. Nothing will intimidate or move me. We are here to work not only to enjoy the fruits of independence,” he stressed.

He indicated that he will have a meeting with the unions and cleaners and discuss the issue with them further.

“But the idea is there to outsource the cleaning service to private companies. We will hand you (cleaners) over to the private companies. If the company find you incompetent, they will fire you. We have to perform and I will not compromise the health of our people,” he stated.

He also warned that no company will not receive special treatment when it comes to the awarding of cleaning tenders.

“We want the proper cleaning service at public health facilities,” he reiterated.