Windhoek – Namibia will make history this year when close to 150 medical graduates trained in various parts of the world return to serve the country.
“This year in the history of Namibia we will have an unprecedented number of medical doctors coming to the country. The first 78 will be here in February,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Bernard Haufiku.
“This has never happened. That is a challenge,” said Haufiku, who must now work out where to station the doctors for internships.
Only Katutura Intermediate Hospital, Windhoek Central and Oshakati State Hospital currently accommodate medical graduates, who have to do at least two years of internship.
Haufiku said the hospitals do not have the capacity to accommodate a large number of medical interns at one time. “Those facilities can’t take more than 50 interns,” he observed.
He said the Keetmanshoop, Otjiwarongo, Rundu, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund hospitals would be accommodating some interns.
“We need to increase the facilities where they can be trained. We think we will attract specialists to those towns,” said Haufiku, who added that specialists would need to be deployed to those hospitals to train the interns.
He was also quick to mention that doctors are not trained to work only in metropolitan cities.
“You can go to villages, whether you are a specialist or just a medical officer,” Haufiku said. There is an arrangement to bring more specialists to the country, he added.
“We want to bring in specialists to have a minimum of at least 27 specialists covering the areas of pediatric, gynecology and general surgery.”