Construction of 500-bed Windhoek district hospital commences

Stefanus Nashama

The long-awaited district hospital for Windhoek at Havana Informal Settlement has begun construction.

Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the 500-bed hospital on Thursday.

According to her, the construction of the new hospital represents the government’s commitment to ensuring healthcare service delivery to its nation.

She expressed confidence that the hospital’s construction phase would create hundreds of jobs.

“The contractor is under instructions to make sure that the people closer by should be the first beneficiaries,” she stated.

Talks for the construction of the hospital have been ongoing for years.

The City of Windhoek donated the land to the government in 2016, after complaints that the Katutura State Hospital and the Windhoek Central Hospital were struggling to cope with the large number of local patients and referrals from other regions.

Last year, the Cabinet approved its construction.

The minister of health and social services, Kalumbi Shangula, announced that the construction of the hospital will cost N$16 billion and is expected to be completed by 2027.

He explained that the hospital will include facilities for mental health, surgery, maternity, staff accommodations, and recreational activities.

“There has been a scramble for health care services by the public, leading to overcrowding and capacity constraints on the part of health care workers. For this reason, a new district hospital is required to provide more capacity for inpatient care,” said the minister.

According to Shangula, the Katutura Intermediate Hospital will function as a class B facility, offering a referral pathway as well as training and research opportunities.

“This is because Katutura Hospital serves as both a referral and a district hospital and therefore it is always congested, he said.

Shangula further stated that the ministry has been receiving complaints from patients regarding long queues and extended waiting times.

To Kalumbi, the project will create employment, especially for young professionals, and general support services.

Selma Shapumba, a Hanava resident, expressed confidence that if the government continues to build more health facilities, there will be no scramble for healthcare services in the country.

“This is what we expect from the government as community members. However, the construction of this hospital should not be used as a tool for a campaign to win votes. It should represent the commitment to take care of the nation,” she said.

Health care services in the Khomas region are provided through outreach points, 10 clinics, two health centres, and Katutura Intermediate Hospital, which serves as the district hospital supporting the health facility network.

The hospital currently functions as a mixed level C district hospital and level B2 intermediate referral hospital, with an average total bed occupancy rate of 113 percent.

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