ONGWEDIVA - The Ministry of Health and Social Services says the shortage of staff is not only peculiar to Oshakati Intermediate Hospital, but the rest of the country.
The ministry said this in a media statement.
According to the ministry, there are currently only 16 specialist doctors at the Oshakati hospital, however, the ministry wants to create additional 26 more position to bring the total number of specialists at the hospital to 42.
The ministry was reacting to a story published in New Era that Oshakati Intermediate Hospital is experiencing a shortage of critical medical staff as well as machineries needed to provide health care.
The hospital currently is without a pediatrician, a neurologist, a dietician, a clinical psychologist, a pediatric surgeon and needs an anesthetist.
The 26 positions to be created for the hospital are part of the 4000 new positions that the ministry intends to create to eliminate the shortage of staff across the country.
The statement says that the Office of the Prime Minister through the Secretary to Cabinet has already approved the creation of additional positions and the process has already started.
In addition, the ministry said that it has put in place a number of alternative mechanisms to support health facilities to cope with the current shortages.
Amongst those alternatives, include a Memorandum of Understanding between the ministry and several private hospitals, the National Medical Outreach initiative, which mobilizes both public health professionals and private sector doctors for medical missions to different public facilities as well as support from medical volunteers from other countries.
“Through the Memoranda of Understanding concluded with private hospitals, their doctors support public health facilities such as Oshakati Intermediate Hospital as well as district hospitals to strengthen professional skills in surgical procedure, anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology as well as neonatal care. This has worked very well and the health of many patients has been restored and many lives have been saved,” said the press statement.
According to the ministry, the National Medical Outreach initiative has been ongoing for several years.
It has successfully completed several medical missions to facilities around the country and has proven to be one of the ministry’s most successful initiatives.