Alvenus F. Dreyer
I refer to the editor’s guest letter by Dr Bernard Haufiku of Friday 22 May 2020, in The Namibian newspaper, which
reads “Setting up a National Health Service”. Also, I want to highlight the SMS of The Day in the same newspaper on Tuesday 26 May, that reads: “Doctor Bernard Haufiku thank you for your opinion piece ‘Setting up a National Health Service’. It could have been achieved decades ago if qualified people, instead of party loyalist, had been chosen for these important positions. As long as loyalty to the party is important and corruption and mismanagement are not wiped out, we will never achieve this dream. Please keep fighting for us and all poor Namibians.” Those were thought catching and value adding words towards the discourse concerning Namibia’s health system. Gratitude goes out to the former minister of health and currently the presidential advisor on health for airing his views regarding the health service sector in Namibia. How we wish our country could have more prominent leaders like Doctor Bernard Haufiku. This is the same man who during his stint at the health ministry intercepted a dubious tender process which was about to benefit some corrupt officials. In his opinion letter, Dr Haufiku clearly indicated that the solution for the country’s health issues has always been and will remain universal access to care with a strong emphasis on public/primary healthcare as opposed to very costly clinical interventions. Imagine having to sell your only means of survival whether goats, cows or your house just to pay for medical bills. According to the medical doctor, private medical aid schemes and the governments PSEMAS have not led to the attainment of health for all by 2000, as was originally intended to. It will certainly not lead to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in its current format. However, Dr Haufiku highlighted five comprehensive measures which can be undertaken to implement UHC and how to operationalise it. Doctor Haufiku’s sentiments are supported by the more than 80% of Namibians who cannot afford medical aid and therefore have no access to proper healthcare and facilities. The birth of the establishment of a National Health Service (NHS) as hoped for by Doctor Bernard Haufiku is what the Namibian nation is praying, hoping and waiting for.