Top dentist tells Haufiku to quit

Namibia's top dentist has accused the health ministry of failing to plan for its human resources needs.

07 June 2018 | Government

While admitting his frustrations with the health ministry are coming on for over a decade, the country's former chief dentist, Dr Panduleni Itula, has called on the current minister, Dr Bernhard Haufiku, to resign, if he does not heed his advice.

In a scathing letter Itula wrote to Haufiku, prime minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, justice minister Sacky Shanghala and attorney-general Albert Kawana, he accused Haufiku of acting outside his jurisdiction by appointing an interim Health Professions Council.

Itula also believes the ministry's dental internship programme is a flop.

This follows the announcement by Haufiku a fortnight ago that his ministry has scraped together N$3.7 million to arrange internships for 27 dentistry graduates.

At the same event Haufiku also announced he has appointed an interim Health Professions Council of Namibia, until the Health Professions Bill is approved and signed into law.

According to Itula, this is unlawful and said he has warned the health ministry for many years now, even before Haufiku took office, that the Medical and Dental Act of 2004 does not make provision for this.

“An interim measure of an entity as yet not promulgated into law is unlawful and lawmakers can't be lawbreakers.

The (health) ministers, by failing to provide relevant secondary laws in time since 2004, have left the entire health professionals unregulated in an unprecedented manner.”

At some institutions providing continuing professional development in this, clearly heralds a loss of earnings for these institutions,” he said.

According to Itula, there is no single dental institution in Namibia with all the necessary dental departments to provide the full range of undergraduate clinical skills and competence training for students, who never extracted or filed a tooth throughout their five years in foreign training.

The graduates who have to go undergo a six-month remedial course, in order to be approved for internship, studied in Russia, Ukraine, China and Belarus.

“Various students, especially from Ukraine, attested to the fact that they do not treat any Ukrainian patient at all during the five-year course in dentistry. The qualifications obtained by these students do not allow them to be registered in Ukraine, specifically, nor allows them to practice such a profession in those countries, as the Medical and Dental Act of 2004 stipulates,” said Itula.

Itula also took a swipe at the ministry's chief dentist Dr John Ruta, saying he is not qualified.

According to him Ruta is also not qualified for the post in his home country of Tanzania, and has he reportedly never trained a single undergraduate dentist in his entire life.

“The minister continues to rely on dental advice from a Tanzanian chief dentist, who with a basic dental undergraduate bachelor's degree is not even appropriately qualified to be a chief dentist in his own country, when there are Namibians more qualified and experienced,” Itula charged.

He also accused the ministry of failing to plan for its human resources needs.

“Thirty undergraduate students will complete their training this year, from the listed countries and 55 will do so in 2019, with 50 coming from Cuba in three to four years. In four years' time we will have 230 qualified dentists, excluding those being trained at Unam. That does not show a ministry that is planning for the human resource needs of Namibia,” said Itula.

He added that self-determination was the goal of the country's liberation struggle and not determination by foreign nationals, who have no interest in the Namibian people.

“Should the minister ignore this advice I shall and am calling for his resignation in the public interest? It is time the honourable minister is advised he as a civil responsibility and that he failed the dental profession and should consider throwing in the towel,” he said.

Haufiku refused to comment.

Ruta said he cannot comment on Itula's allegations, because the letter was not written to him.

“I cannot start a dialogue with him, you can speak to the ministry, who as my employer can explain my appointment,” he said.


Similar News


Internships back in govt

3 days ago - 23 May 2019 | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has directed the lifting of the internship programme ban in the public sector from 1 June.She instructed in a notice that...

'Pohamba was misled'

4 days ago - 22 May 2019 | Government

Kavango West regional council chairperson Joseph Sivaku Sikongo says former president Hifikepunye Pohamba was misled when he conducted a groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 for the...

Guibeb in debt scandal

1 week ago - 17 May 2019 | Government

JEMIMA BEUKES A German newspaper has accused the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, of abusing his diplomatic status and running up debts of about...

'Let's move on'

1 week ago - 16 May 2019 | Government

President Hage Geingob has dismissed calls for the establishment of a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to deal with the unresolved pain and...

National Council resumes

1 week ago - 14 May 2019 | Government

The National Council (NC) resumed its sessions yesterday and its chairperson Margaret Mensah-Williams said during 2018, a total of 20 bills were reviewed that were...

Kapia irked by busy PM

2 weeks ago - 06 May 2019 | Government

ILENI NANDJATO Former deputy works minister Paulus Ilonga Kapia has expressed his frustration over the fact that Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and agriculture minister Alpheus...

Industries must compete globally

2 weeks ago - 06 May 2019 | Government

Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila says too much infant industry protection will lead to Namibia violating international competition rules.She said local producers must consider seizing opportunities...

Vision 2030 to be reviewed

3 weeks ago - 29 April 2019 | Government

The National Planning Commission has announced that Namibia's grand plan to become an industrialised nation with a high income by the year 2030 needs to...

Huawei donates to human rights campaign

3 weeks ago - 29 April 2019 | Government

Huawei Namibia has handed over N$50 000 to the chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams, for the human rights campaign 'The Journey'.Mensah-Williams said the...

Public procurement lacks transparency

1 month - 25 April 2019 | Government

An independent policy watchdog in Namibia continues to shine a spotlight on the serious troubles crippling Namibia's public procurement system and the body in charge,...

Latest News

10% water hike coming

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

The City of Windhoek has proposed a 10% water and 5% sewer tariff hike to come into effect in July. The City's recently announced...

Low earners excluded from drought...

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Disasters

Households with a combined income of more than N$2 600 will not qualify for state drought assistance, which has effectively excluded even low-level civil servants...

How did we get here?

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Opinion

How did we get to a situation, as a country, where our government is asking already struggling workers to donate 2% of the salaries as...

AMTA ends Fysal agreement

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Agriculture

Fysal Fresh Produce is to retrench 60 employees at the end of this month after its contract with the Agro-Marketing Trading Agency (AMTA) was terminated....

Geingob grills Nanso

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Education

The Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) leadership received a grilling from President Hage Geingob on Wednesday during a meeting to discuss a number of issues,...

Fallout over 2% tax

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Economics

Political parties and analysts have called on the government to abandon a plan to introduce a “voluntary” 2% tax to fund drought relief.Prime Minister Saara...

Bild challenges Guibeb

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | International

The German newspaper Bild has rubbished a claim by the Namibian ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb, that no arrest warrant had been issued against him.The...

Namibia ranks poorly for diversity

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Cultural

For a country that is described by many as one of the most diverse in the world, Namibia has ranked fairly poorly in a new...

Business ponders mass exodus

2 days ago - 24 May 2019 | Business

A recent survey by the Economic Policy Research Association (EPRA) of close to 600 businesses concerned about the government's policy direction shows that a staggering...

Load More