Namibian health system not fully-developed to be classified as efficient and offering quality care for all

WINDHOEK: The Namibian health system is at present not fully-developed to be classified as efficient and offering quality care for all, Social Security Commission (SSC) Chief Executive Officer Kenandei Tjivikua said on Wednesday.

He made the statement during the Universal Health Coverage Advisory Committee of Namibia (UHCAN)’s inaugural meeting here.

The objective of UHCAN is to provide advice and guidance to the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) – which it is primarily accountable to – on the development of systems and policies for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Namibia, with the focus on evidence and alternatives.

“This is so because we find a situation where a small number of Namibians have access to good quality private healthcare, whilst the majority has to make do with public facilities, which are often stretched to capacity due to high demand”, Tjivikua noted.

Another hindrance to quality healthcare for the majority is physical access, as often the facilities are far from where people reside, especially in rural areas.

Given the above scenario, the SSC CEO explained that the work of the committee is to develop policies and guidelines which would result in the majority of Namibians having access to quality care at an affordable cost.

The goal of the UHC is to ensure that all people obtain the health services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.

However, this requires a strong, efficient and well-run health system, as well as a system for financing health services.

The committee is also expected to discuss and adopt the UHCAN Terms of Reference, and elect a deputy chairperson for the committee.

At present, 32 institutions and bodies are represented on UHCAN, with deputy permanent secretary in the MOHSS, Dr Norbert Foster appointed by the minister as its chairperson.