A DECISION by the Oshakati State hospital to temporarily suspend elective or non-malignant referrals from district hospitals will not be implemented at the Katutura and Windhoek Central hospitals.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe, stated that it would be impossible for the two largest state hospitals, Katutura and Windhoek Central, to deny patients access. He added that he has not yet spoken to the Oshakati Hospital management staff about their decision to suspend referrals.
“I am yet to talk to the Oshakati Hospital management about the issue. What I can tell you now is that the two main hospitals are national referral hospitals. They cannot be compared to the hospital in Oshakati due to their nature. Suspensions are impossible to do because it would not make any practical sense,” Nangombe stressed.
The Oshakati hospital announced that that it is not able to receive patients with common illnesses. The measure will be in effect until 16 April and is aimed at avoiding overcrowding at the hospital, according to the Acting Superintendent Dr Korbinian Amutenya.
Dr Amuteny said priority will be given to emergencies and oncology patients.
“The suspension is put in place to avoid an overcrowded hospital and reduce big numbers of patients at the facility as a measure to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.
Amutenya also noted that measures will be put in place for every person to be temperature scanned when they visit the hospital.