Health ministry enacts special fund for patients

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Windhoek

The special fund to finance the treatment of state patients with special medical conditions, which cannot be treated at any state health facility, has been enacted.

The annoucement was made by the public relations officer in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ester Paulus, on Friday.

Among those to benefit from the fund are patients who need a cardiac angiogram, the insertion of stents, cardio-thoracic surgery, including cardiac bypass radical prostatectomy; major spinal surgery, including the insertion of internal prosthesis; major brain surgery, including brain aneurysm repair; major abdominal surgery; abdominal aorta aneurysm repair, and organ transplant, including stem cell, liver or kidney transplants.

Other patients to be covered by the fund will those needing radiotherapy, kidney dialysis, special surgery for resections and any other medical treatment that requires treatment in an intensive or high care unit in a hospital due to post-surgery complications.

“The patient should be treated by a state doctor at a public health facility. The doctor will then apply to the special fund should the treatment required by the patient not be available at any public health facility,” she explained. She added that upon approval by the fund administrator, the permanent secretary in the health ministry, the fund will pay the total cost of the treatment including transport to a local private hospital or a private or state hospital in South Africa.

The fund was established in 2009. From 2010 until January 2015 about 800 patients were treated under the fund. In 2015, the special fund was legally enacted within the National Health Act, 2015 under Section 51.
In 2014/15, the ministry spent N$13 . 8 million to treat state patients.

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