Tjihuiko Condemns Surprise Visits

Nudo MP Arnold Tjihuiko has called on the Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Richard Kamwi to stop his surprise visits to hospitals, an activity he says demoralises nurses.

Kamwi, who often checks on nurses at state hospitals to gauge professional conduct and ensure punctuality has defended his actions and indicated that the visits have yielded positive results. “You may wish to know that I have been encouraged by some of my principals to conduct the surprise visits, because it is yielding results,” he said. “I do not like this thing of ambushing nurses at hospitals, because it is demoralizing our nurses instead of motivating them. This must stop,” said the Nudo parliamentarian. Tjihuiko made the comments during a debate on the budget allocation to the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the National Assembly last Friday. “How will you feel if the president has to hide in a bush at your ministry every morning to see whether you come to work late. If you want to ambush nurses, then it should be done to everybody,” said Tjihuiko. “If you want to motivate our nurses,” Tjihuiko said, “then please do it in a proper manner.”

Tjihuiko also called on the health ministry to provide transportation services to nurses, as he feels their safety is jeopardized since they are forced to take taxis early in the morning to be at work on time. “The morning shift at hospitals normally starts at 07h00, which means nurses must already start looking for a taxi at 06h00 to be on time for work. This is very dangerous, because it is not safe to be on the streets at that hour,” said Tjihuiko. “We complain about our safety yet we place the lives of our nurses at risk,” lamented the Nudo MP.

“The ministry used to provide transport for the nurses in the past, why can it not be done now?” asked the opposition politican. Kamwi responded saying that nurses receive a transport allowance from the ministry. “If we provide them with transport while they are receiving a transport allowance, it will be a double allowance and this may land us in trouble with the Public Service Commission,” answered Kamwi.

“Last year I started in Rundu at the state hospital, on the first day there were 55 late comers. I also went to the hospital in Katima Mulilo, there were two late comers when I visited the hospital. But when I went back to the two hospitals earlier this year, there was not a single late comer at either of the two hospitals,” explained the health minister. “I give it to the general public to decide on this practice,” said Kamwi.

Source : New Era