By Petronella Sibeene
WINDHOEK – Efforts aimed at transforming the health sector and ensure it evolves within Government’s policy of providing quality health services to all Namibians have gained momentum.
On Thursday experts in this sector met in the capital to discuss findings and recommendations of a recent survey as the ministry seeks to transform the sector that has for years been plagued by challenges.
Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura, says the Namibian health system showed positive gains during the first 10 years of independence.
Since 2000, the road to health service delivery has been bumpy, as increases in HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria including diseases of affluence were recorded.
“The review is the first major attempt by the ministry to outline possible new approa-ches and strategies to address existing challenges including emerging and re-emerging diseases,” she said.
The national stakeholders’ conference attended by regional health directors, donor agencies and civil society reviewed the success, challenges and failures of the public health sector.
The ministry is concentrating on five key pillars towards the drawing of a five-year strategic plan for the sector.
Thus, the conference reviewed issues of governance, human resources, infrastructure, service provisions and health care financing.
Under those, areas covered are the national health policy, organisational set up, structures and behaviour, management structures and support systems, health services planning, management and implementation including hospital management, health care financing and sustainability.
The conference formed part one of two phases that the ministry has embarked on as it reviews the sector.
Since last year, the ministry has conducted field surveys in Kavango, Oshana, Oshikoto, Kunene, Otjozondjupa, Khomas and Hardap.
The survey that aimed at establishing critical issues in the sector covered 17 hospitals, 14 health centres and 49 clinics.
The second phase will draw information from the findings of the review and focus on the development of the ministry’s key document that will culminate in an agenda for comprehensive health sector reforms in Namibia.
“The ministry will use the findings and recommendations to develop its five-year strategic plan in which all the strategies that are of paramount importance to health care delivery in the country will be defined,” said Haingura.