Oshakati Hospital Faces Challenges

ALTHOUGH Oshakati State Hospital is striving to provide a safe, accessible and affordable health care environment for its patients, it is faced by many challenges.

This was said by the hospital’s medical superintendent, Dr Josephine Augustinus.

Augustinus told the minister of health and social services, Bernard Haufiku, upon his visit to the hospital that the place is in dire need of medical officers, including specialists and other health workers to meet new demands, saying the recruitment of expatriates is too bureaucratic.

She explained that Oshakati State Hospital lacks medical equipment, such as fluoroscopy tools, ultrasound, EGG, ECHO, mammography machines and many others, adding that they also need to be provided with MRI machines. Augustinus made it clear that the lack of medical equipment severely hampers the delivery of quality services.

The medical superintendent blamed centralisation and tendering processes as the main cause of not receiving equipment on time.

She also told minister Haufiku that doctors are faced with a severe shortage of theater space, as they have only four available at the hospital that has a catchment population of approximately 192,357 and which is also a referral hospital for Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, and Oshikoto regions as well as Opuwo district in Kunene region and neighbouring Angola.

Furthermore, the hospital faces severe accommodation issues for staff members and interns, as it expects approximately 30 interns next year. A flooded pharmacy, damaged pipes and electricity problems also make it difficult for patients and staff at the hospital.

Another big problem Augustinus mentioned, included inadequate consulting rooms at the outpatient department, where two to three doctors regularly share one consulting room, a situation that is not contributing to patients’ privacy.

Haufiku told Dr Augustinus and her staff that he came to Oshakati to introduce himself. He said he listened to the needs of the doctors and would try to address them. ” I will look into your problems and needs,” said the health minister.

Source : The Namibian