Kamwi Addresses Shortage of Beds

RESPONDING to public outcry, Health and Social Services Minister Richard Kamwi said his ministry will soon address the shortage of beds at hospitals.

Kamwi made the announcement in the National Assembly last week, while responding to questions asked weeks earlier by SWANU president Usutuaije Maamberua.

He said the ministry has a new supplier and that the specifications of beds being supplied under the current contract are outdated.

This, he said, prompted the ministry to approach the tender board requesting two tenders with revised specifications to manufacture and supply hospital beds as required for various ailments of patients.

“The suppliers have already been awarded the tender to supply 1 567 beds to be distributed to health facilities” he said, adding that the supplier is also expected to repair some of the old beds.

The minister added that the supply of beds to health facilities will be carried out in stages, depending on the needs.

In March this year, The Namibian reported that a shortage of beds at the Katutura State Hospital has forced mothers and their children admitted in the hospital’s cancer ward to sleep on the floor.

The Namibian had observed during a visit that rooms two, eight, nine, 10 and 11 in the cancer ward did not have beds. The admitted children used mattresses in a ward that had 58 patients.

Health permanent secretary Andrew Ndishishi, however, attributed the shortage to lack of space at the hospital.

Kamwi also said most hospitals can no longer accommodate the skyrocketing number of patients admitted at State health facilities and that space for beds has become limited.

While the problem appeared to be serious at Katutura State Hospital, nurses at the Windhoek Central Hospital also told the First Lady, Penehupifo Pohamba, during a tour of the hospital that they did not have enough beds.

Pohamba was visiting the hospital during the launch of the Countdown Campaign of the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa Conference.

Source : The Namibian