• June 25th, 2019
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“Suspended nurses” still at work

WINDHOEK - Contrary to Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku’s announcement that two nurses at Okuryangava Clinic were suspended with immediate effect “for failing to examine and make a patient comfortable”, the two nurses are still on duty. 

Sources told New Era yesterday that the two nurses, whose names are known to New Era are still on duty.  New Era also visited the clinic and learned that the nurses were in fact on duty. 

Contacted for comment, Haufiku said: “I have confirmed today with Human Resources that their suspension docket has been forwarded to the Public Service Commission.”

The Deputy Permanent Secretary, Petronella Masabane said the message was not communicated clearly because on Monday, a request was made to the Public Service Commission to suspend the two. 
“The request (to suspend the nurses) went to Public Service Commission and we hope to hear from them within the next few days,” Masabane said. 

Sources on the ground further said the matter was blown out of proportion and the minister acted ‘impulsively’ by telling fellow parliamentarians that the nurses have been suspended with immediate effect, pending disciplinary procedure. “Civil servants cannot be suspended like that without going through Public Service Commission. You suspend someone on fear that they would interfere with investigations,” said one person who spoke to New Era while another said: “Those were lies. The patient’s version does not add up. Only the patients’ version was considered. It’s true there are rude nurses but those nurses were really accused of something they didn’t do.”

On the comment that he acted impulsively, the minister stated: “Only those who have no clue what it feels for a woman who is in labour pain and what neonatal and labour complications mean for a patient, family and for a country such as Namibia will make such ignorant statement that I acted impulsively. Would they say the same if it were them or their daughters? Nothing of my deed and action come anywhere near impulsivity. Just put yourself in the shoes of that young woman to appreciate what this means.”

Sources also related that the 24-year old woman allegedly told health officials that the issue was blown out of proportion. However, New Era could not get comment from the woman by the time of going to print. 
Haufiku said on Tuesday that the health ministry conducted preliminary investigations on the incident that occurred on 31 August 2018 and that the two nurses will be charged with misconduct/negligence. 

Dr Haufiku also said their dismissal is recommended after legal procedure to institute disciplinary measures.
“If I had the power, I could dismiss them right away,” Haufiku told Parliamentarians.  

A video of a woman giving birth at the gate of Okuryangava Clinic made rounds on social media since last week. 
Haufiku said he met the woman, her newly-born baby boy and the friend who accompanied her on 31 August in the presence of the two nurses, the Director of Health for Khomas Region, the Customer Care Officer as well as other officials at the Okuryangava Clinic on Monday where he asked the woman to narrate her experience which was recorded and photographed. 

Alvine Kapitako
2018-09-21 08:14:09 9 months ago

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