No Land to Build District Hospital

Due to a scarcity of land in Windhoek the Ministry of Health and Social Services is unable to fulfil its plans to construct a district hospital for about 800 bed patients.

Currently Windhoek which is home to over 300 000 residents only has two state hospitals, being Katutura and Windhoek Central that are often overcrowded.

The two hospitals also accommodate patients who have been referred from the regions, a situation that led to patients sleeping on floors because of overcrowding.

The scarcity of land led the Ministry of Health and Social Services to engage both the regional and local authorities in a quest to find land to build the hospital but so far to no avail.

Confirming the dilemma was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Andrew Ndishishi, who said the ministry is ready and has budgeted for the construction of the district hospital should land be availed.

He said government has set aside N$7 million for the commencement of the construction.

“Should they fail to allocate land before the next financial year, we will not hesitate to use the money towards projects that are moving. Why can’t they just allocate land? We are not going to make a profit, it’s a public service,” he remarked.

Ndishishi said it is the responsibility of the Windhoek Municipality to care for its inhabitants to ensure they have access to quality health care facilities.

“We have budgeted for the district hospital but there is no land. Once the hospital is built it would accommodate between 700 and 800 beds,” he said.

Khomas Regional Governor, Laura McLeod-Katjirua, expressed her disappointment on the land issue, saying “this process has been draging on and it’s unfortunate we can’t get land.”

She said her office does not allocate land except to facilitate the process.

Further, she also said there is an urgent need for another state hospital in the city as the existing ones are overcrowded.

However, Windhoek Municipality spokesperson Joshua Amukugo said, “Local authorities operate in accordance with town planning schemes. We don’t want to develop hazards. We want to develop the city in an orderly manner.”

He said the provision of land for the construction of the hospital is receiving urgent attention.

Source : New Era