The Namibia Medical Society (NMS) wants a fair representation of health professionals in the bodies that administer different acts of parliament that affect health professionals and health in Namibia.
Chairman of the NMS Herman Shitaleni said they cannot have their 12 years of specialisation be decided upon by someone who has not invested a fortune of their time and educational resources in any of the professions.
“It is unacceptable, that without a say, the value of your 12 years of training to become a specialist is decided by someone who never invested so much time and resources in education,” said Shitaleni
Shitaleni made the remarks at the two-day NMS international congress held at the University of Namibia (Unam) Jose Eduardo dos Santos Engineering Campus in Ongwediva over the weekend.
Members of the NMS gathered to share expertise and exchange scientific knowledge on how best to manage non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and subsequently contribute to national efforts of addressing NCDs, which have been on the increase in recent years.
The sixth NMS congress also sought to devise new ways on the clinical front to ensure the nation lives healthy lives.
“How to convince someone who has been smoking for 25-35 to stop smoking, how to convince an alcoholic/drug addict to accept that he/she is an addict and that they need professional help, how to get someone who tells you that they fall short of breath if they exercise, that exercise is still the solution,” said Shitaleni as he explained the objectives of the congress.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report, NCD is among the world’s biggest killers, killing over 36 million people yearly, of which 85 percent of deaths are recorded in low-middle income countries such as Namibia.
Shitaleni said that while the society reminisces about its success, it should also critically look at the challenges it faces including dispensing licences for medical doctors which is yet to be resolved.
The chairman of the society reckons that students of medicine in Namibia are burdened with serious debts and liabilities after they complete their studies.
He said the situation not only discourages prospective students but it also has the potential to cause a negative influence on those who want to do postgraduate training for purposes of specialisation.
“This is an issue we all need to look into to find a favourable position for all the parties,” said Shitaleni.
In addition, Shitaleni said issues of remuneration, professional incentives and poor working conditions especially in the public sector should be addressed.
The Minister of Health and Social Services Bernard Haufiku in a speech read on his behalf by his special advisor Naftal Hamata applauded the society for aiding government in national efforts in addressing quality and efficiency in health care in the country.
The minister also called upon Namibians to revisit and change their lifestyle to live healthy.