Better interpersonal relationships good for patients – Dr Haufiku

Home Front Page News Better interpersonal relationships good for patients – Dr Haufiku



The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku has urged health professionals to constantly improve interpersonal relationships among themselves as colleagues, as it has a positive bearing on healthcare and the recovery of patients.

While talking to medical staff during the Doctors and Dentist Forum in Ongwediva recently, Haufiku said healthcare workers need to work continuously on improving interpersonal relationships in the workplace, as it is fundamental to providing quality healthcare to the public.

According to the health minister, the available evidence suggests that improving the relationships between healthcare workers offers a potential breakthrough in the quality of patient-care, the quality of life of healthcare providers and improvement in organisational performance as a whole.

“We cannot provide quality services to patients if we don’t take care of ourselves as healthcare professionals,” he said.

“Remember, no matter our differences as healthcare workers, we need to continuously create meaningful working relationships. We are all interdependent. Relationships are the oil that makes the machine work, and you know what happens when the machine has no oil – no matter what interventions you come up with the machine will not work.”

Haufiku says it is essential to include patients in the healthcare process as patient engagement and active involvement in healthcare is crucial. When patients are involved in their own care it leads to less distress, better coping, better clinical outcomes and greater satisfaction, he said.

“Patients don’t want to be “processed” they want to be part of the process. I am glad the theme for the forum this year is ‘Improving Quality through Partnership with Patients’,” he noted.

Haufiku further urged staff to safeguard information about patients and that of the ministry by properly documenting and accurately capturing data. He said information should be readable and patient information must be complete. He noted that a number of medical legal cases have been lost due to poor or complete lack of documentation.

Basic rights for each individual should be upheld to improve the provision of clinical healthcare services. The basics include listening, checking, responding, recording and caring, according to the minister.

Haufiku maintains that every patient is a unique individual with cultural differences, gender differences, personal biases and preferences. All these have to be taken into account when rendering healthcare services.

He said basic the human rights of patients are clearly stipulated in the Namibian Patient’s Charter and this document should be made easily accessible to all patients, clients and community members, in a language they understand.

“I therefore invite you all to focus on the golden rule; “Treat others the way you would want to be treated,” the health minister concluded.