Geingob pays surprise visit at Katutura hospital…promises more such visits at state institutions
Nurses and patients at Katutura State Hospital on Friday described President Hage Geingob’s surprise visit as a “shock” but said they knew something big was coming when they were asked to thoroughly clean the medical facility as early as 05h00.
Following a week of complains by the public on the dilapidated, unhygienic and grim conditions in the 47 years old hospital, the President made a surprise visit at the hospital at around 14h00 on Friday.
“I am shocked, I didn’t expect the President but I knew something big was coming when everyone was hard at work cleaning when I came in for duty this morning,” said a female nurse when asked whether she knew that Geingob was coming. A number of patients told New Era that their wish is that the hospital will be kept in a state Geingob found it.
“It is very clean today, very clean some of us were wondering who is coming,” but now this visit explains why the sudden cleanness,” said a female patient.
“We are living in a mess, there is an I don’t care attitude among staff and nurses at this hospital. We just hope things will change after this visit. We saw people rushing, we thought maybe its the minister, now we see is the man himself,” said a patient. Another patient alleged male and female patients are kept in the same wards and this makes it very uncomfortable for them, especially when they have to dress up.
“There is no separation of male and females here, we use the same toilets and this makes it very difficult for us especially when we have to change,” she said.
Geingob was escorted through the hospital wards by the minister of health Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the health executive director Ben Nangombe, Dr Mwadina Shiweda and the hospital superintendent. After the tour, health officials briefed Geingob on the activities at the hospital that includes the renovations, which they said are currently underway and budgeted and should lead to the improvements in the quality of health services provided at the facility.
“373 staff vacancies are in the process of being filled to deal with staff shortage. Planning for a district hospital for Katutura is underway and will lead to a decrease in pressure on Katutura State Hospital,” Shangula told Geingob.
In return, Geingob thanked the management and staff for their dedication in providing health services to the nation. He said for improved service delivery, he will make unexpected inspections of this nature to government institutions and facilities that provide services to Namibians. “On the spot inspections, I warned around 13h00 that I am coming, this is the beginning of the on the spot inspections, this police men were following me-I wanted to sneak in here, this is not only for you, this the beginning,” Geingob told health officials after the visit.
Presidential spokesperson Alfredo Hengari yesterday told New Era Geingob inspection of the hospital was not seeking to find faults with the performance of the ministry or staff at the hospital.
“Had the President lashed out at the minister or anyone, the press would be the first to put that in the headline. It is not how the President works,” he said.
“The President works in a transparent, collective and inclusive manner, “he added.
He said the invitation of the media to accompany the President was informed by the fact the Geingob wanted the media to see the same things he saw. “Based on what the President saw and experienced, a report will be made to Cabinet to ensure that improvements are effected and quality services are provided at Katutura State hospital,” Hengari said.
2020-03-09 07:23:04 | 4 months ago