No tender advertised for new Windhoek District Hospital

Stefanus Nashama and Ester Mbathera

No tender has been advertised for the construction of the much-anticipated new 500-bed Windhoek District Hospital or any other services required.

This is despite the ground-breaking ceremony that took place last week.

The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) spokesperson, Johanna Kambala, confirmed that the board did not receive or handle a tender to this effect.

“Please take note that CPBN did not receive any request from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to facilitate the procurement of this project,” she said.

It is also not clear where the funds will be coming from.

The development budget for the 2024/2025-2026/2027 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) rolling budget only allocates N$170 million from internal resources, with no funds available from external sources.

According to the project description, the funds will go mainly towards feasibility studies, documentation, design, and construction.

The perimeter fence was expected to go up during the 2023–2024 financial year.

The 2024–2025 financial year is when the feasibility study, documentation, and construction will begin.

Construction is expected to continue for the next financial year.

The government allocated N$39 billion to development and capital projects for the MTEF period.

This is for the implementation of 480 development projects: 461 ongoing and 29 new ones.

The government is to contribute N$31.1 billion towards these activities, whereas N$8.2 billion is external funding.

According to health minister, Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the construction of the Windhoek District Hospital will cost N$2.9 billion, with funding coming from a three-year budget.

“The project is planned over three financial years. The budget for it will not be found in one financial year,” he said.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Walters Kamaya, said the ministry has submitted a proposal to Cabinet to secure extra funds for the project.

The Cabinet approved the hospital’s construction two years ago.

“The budget for the Windhoek District Hospital is around that figure of N$2.9 billion,” he said.

Kamaya reiterated that the N$16 billion recently reported are the resources required for the Health System Strengthening Initiative of the ministry.

He added that the fund will be implemented across the whole country.

“The fund is contained in a cost plan that was endorsed by the Cabinet two years ago. The plan covers several aspects, such as infrastructure, equipment, ambulances, human resources, pharmaceuticals, and clinical supplies,” he stated.

The Windhoek District Hospital is envisaged to provide general outpatient and inpatient care to take on the burden of the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, which currently serves as a referral hospital for other district hospitals across the country.

Apart from the conventional hospital departments, it will also have a mental health unit and a frail care unit.

Shangula explained during the groundbreaking ceremony that in order to fast-track the implementation of the project, an Inter-Ministerial Technical Working Committee was established to provide policy and technical advice to the Government.

The Inter-Ministerial Technical Working Committee is composed of representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprise, the Ministry of Health and Social Services, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, the Ministry of Works and Transport, the National Planning Commission, the City of Windhoek, and the professional team.

No construction company was on the site of the proposed new Windhoek District Hospital when Vice President Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah broke the ground with a special shovel to announce the commencement of construction.

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