WINDHOEK – The Minister of Veterans Affairs Dr Nickey Iyambo said most war veterans want to be treated in private hospitals because nurses at state hospitals are rude and doctors do not attend to them.
Iyambo made the revelation on Wednesday during discussions on the National Health Bill in the National Assembly.
He did say he has informed the war veterans that certain procedures need to be followed before they are treated in private hospitals.
“Some veterans claim they are not treated well at state hospitals – nurses are rude and that doctors do not attend to them,” said Iyambo when commenting on clause 40 of the health Bill which relates to access to state hospital or state health services.
Iyambo also called on the health ministry to make it compulsory that private hospitals treat patients who do not have medical aid cover. “I will not be surprised if there are private hospitals turning patients away because they are not covered by a medical aid or they do not have money to pay upfront. I will not be surprised to find that when someone is taken from an accident scene some private hospitals will just look at the patient and send him/her to Katutura Hospital,” said Iyambo.
“Can we not include in the Bill a clause that will prompt the private hospitals to treat these patients, and if it is a state patient then the health ministry can pay,” proposed Iyambo.
“If we can include this and compel private hospitals to at least treat and stabilize patients before transferring them to state hospitals it will be good,” he said.
Rally for Democracy and Progress MP, Peter Naholo, disagreed with Iyambo’s proposal that Angolan nationals living along the Namibian border be treated as Namibians at state hospitals.
Said Iyambo: “Considering that we were in Angola during the struggle, Namibians were even treated in Angolan hospitals, some even in military hospitals, but here we are classifying the Angolan people as foreigners. I just think the Angolans should have the same status as Namibians considering what Angola has done for us.”
Said Naholo: “Angola assisted us when we were freedom fighters but the proposal the minister is making is very dangerous. Looking at the Angolan population, is our economy capable of catering for the Angolan population to be treated here?”
Iyambo answered: “I am not saying it should be part of the Bill, but rather a bilateral agreement.”