Bill for specialised treatment escalates

Windhoek-The Ministry of Health and Social Services through its special fund has spent over N$3 million in three months to assist needy Namibians to attain much-needed health services.

The health ministry disbursed N$3.4 million between October and last December to treat Namibians in need of specialized treatment.

Ester Paulus, the public relations officer in the health ministry, said the ministry spent N$13.8 million in the 2014/2015 financial year on patients needing specialized treatment.

Paulus explained the special fund is meant for patients with major conditions such as cardiac, spinal, brain and abdominal surgeries, organ transplants, and radiotherapy for cancer patients.

The fund also covers kidney dialysis, special surgery for resections and any other condition that requires treatment in an intensive or high care unit in a hospital due to post-surgery complications.

Paulus said that since 2009 more than 800 patients were treated through this special fund.

In 2015, the health ministry legally enacted the special medical fund within the National Health Act, 2015, Section 51, to ensure the fund serves its purpose optimally and within the confines of the law.

Patients are to be seen and treated at a referral regional hospital before they can be recommended by a state doctor to the special fund, added Paulus.

Paulus explained that as soon as a patient is referred to the fund, the administrators based at Windhoek Central Hospital start securing the most appropriate health facility within or outside the country for treatment of the patient.

The fund may also refer patients to other state health facilities outside the country. There is normally no waiting list. All patients referred to this fund equally need urgent treatment, hence they are all treated as emergency cases, taking into consideration the booking period given by the appropriate health facilities, stated Paulus.

She further said the fund only caters for state patients.

This fund is established to assist Namibians that are unable to afford private health care. Under normal circumstances the special fund only caters for patients without medical aid, said Paulus.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia