Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services, emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of every patient and visitor in both public and private healthcare sectors.
Speaking during World Patient Safety Day, celebrated under the theme “Engaging patients for patient safety,” Shangula said that the Ministry is dedicated to guaranteeing that all patients in Namibia receive care of the highest quality, free from harm.
Although there have been instances where members of the public raised concerns about the quality of healthcare services, Shangula assured that the Ministry is devoted to fostering a safe environment.
“Every individual, whether seeking treatment, care, or any other service, can expect a positive experience at our facilities,” he stated.
He said that historically, healthcare decisions were often made by professionals without patients’ involvement. However, under the Ministry’s recent revisions, patient consultations have become routine, ensuring that they are informed about all decisions related to their care and safety.
This shift, Shangula believes, has led to notable improvements in patient satisfaction and overall health outcomes.
According to Shangula, engaging patients in their healthcare journey remains an essential strategy.
“The Ministry utilizes patient and customer service charters, which incorporate tools like suggestion boxes and exit questionnaires, to actively involve patients in their treatment. Through this, patients are better informed about healthcare services, enabling them to take charge of their well-being,” he said.
Shangula emphasized the importance of creating a healthcare culture that values patients in every facet of their care.
He reminded the public of the essence of World Patient Safety Day, celebrated every year on 17 September, which reinforces the focus on patient-centric care in healthcare delivery.