WINDHOEK – The acquisition, distribution and dispensing of medicine and other pharmaceuticals are fraught with logistic challenges because there are too many players along the supply chain, the Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Kalumbi Shangula said yesterday.
“This can easily be overcome if every player plays their part,” said the health and social services minister, who noted the public has a strong belief in being treated at state health facilities.
“If a patient is told that there is no medicine they feel let down by the system,” said the health minister, who spoke at the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ national management development forum this week.
Shangula, who further referred to a recent article in one of the local dailies on the outage of health passports in state facilities, said health passports were received in December, last year.
“But the health facilities were not informed about such delivery nor were their orders followed up when the health passports were received. It is these acts of avoidable negligence that tarnish the name of the Ministry of Health and Social Services,” said Shangula.
Speaking at the same event, the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Juliet Kavetuna, stressed that officials in the ministry of health should maintain integrity at all times.
Reflecting on the past year, Kavetuna said the ministry did not deliver to the expectations of the public. She said health professionals should deliver services to the public with a sense of urgency and priority.
“When we go as staff members and see people (patients) standing in the queues and we start talking about our personal issues before we attend to the patients. We should provide service to the people with priority and urgency,” said Kavetuna.
She said the Ministry of Health and Social Services is different from other ministries in that it is human-centred.
“Put yourselves in people’s shoes,” she said.
She also said the Ministry of Health and Social Services has many positive stories to tell and should tell those stories.
“We are a ministry of health and social services not a ministry of sickness and problems. We have so many positive things we can tell,” added Kavetuna.