Health Ministry spends N$3bn on projects over a decade

The Ministry of Health and Social Services says it has directed N$3.37 billion on capital projects out of a total allocation of N$75.41 billion over the past 11 years.

Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula disclosed the concerning financial statistics noting that the amount spent represents a meagre 4% of the Ministry's budget.

The Minister said this while responding to questions from Landless People's Movement Parliamentarian Edson Isaaks, who sought detailed information on the allocation and utilisation of funds by the Ministry.

For the upcoming 2023-2024 financial year, the Ministry is slated to receive N$9.6 billion. 

Shangula further provided a breakdown relating to the Ministry’s activities, saying that Project 2013, which was established following the Mtambanengwe Commission into the Affairs and Administration of the Ministry, provided fully funded scholarships at an estimated amount of N$902.6 million.

"This project was implemented between 2013 and 2023. A total number of 685 students were offered scholarships of which 578 successfully completed their studies.

“In addition, the Ministry through its training network trained a total of 6,567 different health sub-professionals between 1992 and 2020 and 568 Registered Nurses between 2014 and 2020. This pre-service training was discontinued in 2020 for the Ministry to focus entirely on its core mandate of public health services delivery," said Shangula. 

Additionally, the Ministry played a significant role in training healthcare professionals over the years.

"In 2020, pre-service training was discontinued to focus entirely on the core mandate of public health service delivery. Notably, all salaries and associated expenses for the in-house ministerial programmes were covered by the Ministry, while the students received support from NSFAF for personal expenses like accommodation and transportation," the Minister noted. 

Meanwhile, addressing concerns about attrition in the healthcare workforce, Shangula stated that the Ministry has lost a substantial number of healthcare workers, totalling 8,590, between the 2012-2013 financial year and the present (2023-2024 financial year).

"These departures were due to various reasons, reflecting the high mobility among healthcare workers. Importantly, the Ministry has also seen gains in its healthcare workforce, including individuals who returned to service. This dynamic underscores the fluid nature of healthcare personnel in the field," he said.

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