Family Grapples with Medical Bill


By Anna Shilongo


The//Garoes family, who recently lost their relative Sanna Helena //Garoes to the elusive B1 Butcher, have been slapped with a medical bill she incurred in 2006.

She had incurred the bill when an unknown suspect shot her in the right thigh.

It appears the City of Windhoek Emergency Unit stretchered the B1 Butcher’s latest victim from the scene of a shooting at the time, resulting in her receiving a bill of N$ 517.03 that they have constantly demanded from her and of late from her family.

Since the late //Garoes was unable to settle the bill as she was unemployed, the City of Windhoek (municipality) kept sending invoices to her threatening legal action if the bill was not settled.

In a letter dated 15 June 2007, the City of Windhoek threatened to take legal action against her if she did not settle the bill by July 16, not knowing her fate at the time.

According to a relative, when //Garoes left home for Windhoek she was hoping to find a job in order to settle her outstanding bill that threatened legal action.

But the question is who is going to pay the bill since the person whom the council rendered the service to is no longer alive? And are there exceptions when it comes to such cases?

Assistant Superintendent and Public Relations Officer of the City of Windhoek Emergency Unit, Marx Hipandwa, said //Garoes’ bill was going to be forwarded to the council’s credit control for further discussion to determine the next step forward.

Asked whether the council was going to write off the bill or not Hipandwa was unable to confirm it, adding that it was up to the council to make the final decision.

“I am currently not in a position to tell whether the family will continue paying the bill or not. It is also better if the family approaches us and shares their problems. I know the council has a social fund which assists those that are unable; this fund mostly assists elders that are unable to settle their bills and so on,” said the PR.

He said it was only through communication that the council could work efficiently with the public.

“How are we supposed to smell that the S. //Garoes that owes us is the one who was butchered? It is only when family bring their problems to our attention that council will look into the matter and see the way forward, otherwise if they don’t, we will keep sending the bill requesting you to pay.

There are so many S. //Garoes’s on our system,” said an officer from the current account section.


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