WINDHOEK – Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Ben Nangombe is of the view that if harnessed properly, the private sector can assist in transforming public institutions, including healthcare.
Speaking in an interview with New Era last week, Nangombe said Namibia has enacted the public-private partnership (PPP) legislation in recognition of the fact that there has to be some synergy between the management of public systems with the ingenuity of the private sector.
“The private sector, if properly harnessed, has the management capabilities, resources that can enable us to transform our institutions. This has happened in other countries in Africa, it has happened in other parts of the world. We are not actually reinventing the wheel here,” said Nangombe.
The PPP approach has worked in other parts of Africa and the world, maintained Nangombe.
“We can also harness the power of the private sector, their ingenuity and resources to turn around our facilities and that is the way to go,” added Nangombe.
Solely relying on government to fund the state facilities’ operations is not sustainable, adds Nangombe.
“We need to look more into ways in which the private sector can become a true partner to the delivery of public services, including healthcare. Public healthcare must be seen for what it is and that it must be a partnership. Government cannot do it alone, the resources are limited, therefore when private institutions come in to lend a hand we welcome that,” said the permanent secretary.
Nangombe also stressed that rather than looking to government for funds, the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as other government ministries should look at ways to make do with what is available.
He emphasised that it is not always a question of whether resources are enough but rather about optimising what is available.
“We are also working with facilities like Lady Pohamba hospital, Ondangwa private hospital, Medipark hospital in Ongwediva and others.
“The private sector has really come forth to support our efforts and we know how costly it is, for example, to refer operations to facilities outside the country. But, if we have specialised facilities here at Medi-Clinic for example, or Catholic hospital or Lady Pohamba hospital, where we can enter into arrangements with these facilities so that when we refer patients we get a discount on the rates, then it will be much cheaper to refer cases to these hospitals and this is going on already,” remarked Nangombe.
He also said that Medipark hospital in Ongwediva has attended to some state patients at reduced costs. “Professionals from these facilities visit some of our facilities on a reach-out basis, to not only carry out procedures but also to aid our professionals in those facilities, particularly our new doctors,” said Nangombe, who gave examples of the PPP approach in the Namibian health sector.
2018-11-26 09:02:31 8 months ago