N$283 Million Initiative to Train 750 Health Professionals in Full Swing

Fourty-three students have left for Russia to pursue studies in dentistry and medicine as part of initiative by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to train 750 health professionals in priority fields over a three-year period.

Government through the Ministry of Health and Social Services will spend N$283 million over three years to train students in priority areas that the Ministry of Health and Social Services identified, spokesperson Ester Paulus said. Priority areas that the health professionals will fill once they have completed their studies include medicine, pharmacy, radiography, physiotherapy, clinical science, bio-medical science, environmental health and medical engineering. “Now that we have identified our own skills deficit we have requested applicants to study and fill these gaps,” Paulus said of the programme that started last year. So far, students were send to pursue studies in Russia and Zambia,” Paulus said. She explained that the aspiring health professionals are selected from different regions in the country and would be bonded by the Ministry of Health and Social Services for a number of years.

This means that they will work for the government as opposed to many who are trained by the government through the Ministry of Education and opt for the private sector when they complete their studies, she explained. She further noted that most expatriate health professionals who are in the country are send to rural areas where Namibians refuse to work. In addition, the health ministry is trying to reach agreements with countries such as Zambia and India to send practicing nurses to specialise in identified fields of study.

Source : New Era