I am being branded a tyrant – Haufiku

28 February 2018 | Health

Health minister Bernhard Haufiku has told the ministry's top management they are not driven enough to get results, adding even the renewal of a licence disk has proven a challenge to some.

He also said he is aware that he has been branded a “tyrant” because he pushes for results, but highlighted that leadership is not about passing the buck, but finding an immediate solution to a problem.

The minister addressed top management yesterday during the official opening of the National Development Forum in Windhoek.

Haufiku told his managers it is important that they take ownership of their work and responsibility for what they do, so they can be held accountable for their deeds.

“Too often problems, even simple ones that require local solutions, are piled up to the office of the permanent secretary or minister, when they could be resolved at regional or district level.

And letters written to high and other offices are often not followed up.

“We believe in efforts rather than results. It does not mean when you have written a letter to me or the PS that you have solved the problem. You only made me aware, but I may not even have received your letter, and even if I did, it may be lost in a trail of papers,” Haufiku said.

He also criticised the parking of official cars when licence disks are expired, instead of having them renewed, which has resulted in nurses being stranded and unable to do outreaches in rural areas.

“Servicing of machines, equipment and tools is one area where we are faltering.

Too many vehicles are laying around our health facilities in all regions, while our community health workers and nurses, who go on outreach, are struggling with transport. We must change this and make optimal use of allocated vehicles and transfer those that are written off to the ministry of works for immediate auctioning,” he ordered.

The minister said further he envisions the ministry to be the leader in provision of equitable and quality healthcare services in the country, for all Namibians, by 2030.

This goes in hand with eradicating stunting and malnutrition, as well as poverty, and to uplift the sanitary conditions in the country.

“My vision is that we will have a Namibia where all children are vaccinated against all childhood diseases, where no child is born with HIV and where everyone has unhindered access to quality healthcare services without catastrophic financial consequences,” he added.

JEMIMA BEUKES

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