Long queues discourage patients – Haufiku

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Obrein Simasiku

Elavi-The common trend of long queues and delayed services at many healthcare centres across the country discourage those who are ill from visiting health centres, with some opting to lie sick at their homes instead of seeking medical help.

A clearly disappointed Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Bernard Haufiku, thus implored all health caregivers to work towards minimising long queues at health centres.

Haufiku was speaking at the inauguration of Elavi clinic in Oshikoto Region where he narrated a story that during one of his official visits to Okongo he came across a sickly old woman who had been referred to Engela hospital, but had strongly refused to travel to the hospital.

The reason was that she was not prepared to endure the long queues at Engela referral hospital, and would instead lie ill in her bed at home.

“This woman refused [to go to Engela referral hospital], saying she would rather die at home than go to Engela because of the long queues there. This shows how bad the situation is, hence doctors and nurses should make sure queues are reduced so as not to discourage patients visiting hospitals,” stressed Haufiku.

In light of that, Haufiku suggested that outreach programmes be reinforced so that health officials be visiting communities and provide services such as distributing medicine.

Elavi clinic is situated in the remote area of Nehale Lya Mpingana and was built at a cost of N$18 million. It opened its doors to the community early last year. The community previously had to travel distances of between 50 kilometres and 100 kilometres to access health centres.

Haufiku further revealed that the clinic would soon receive an ambulance and asked the clinic administrators to start looking for a driver.

“This clinic should be a centre where patients can access their medication of ARVs, and for TB, and other medicine from this clinic – that’s the purpose why we built such a facility. All services should be here,” stated Haufiku.

In addition, he pleaded with councillors and headmen to closely work together with community health workers because they are the first health defence and foot soldiers to assist in emergencies.

Furthermore, he called upon the private sector to come on board because the government will not manage on its own.

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