No need for state hospital queues
Realising the cost of access to healthcare and the inconvenience for their own people, the Ohlthaver & List subsidiary, Hangana Seafood, started its own on-site primary healthcare clinic where between 800 and 900 consultations take place every month. The clinic is staffed by a professional, registered nurse, Sister Stella Mwenyo.
“We care about our employees and their wellbeing. Access to primary healthcare is so critical yet so expensive and unaffordable for most. This clinic adds value to the lives of our people,” said Werner Swartz, the Manager: Human Capital at Hangana Seafood.
The clinic provides primary healthcare services to the Hangana employees in Walvis Bay at no cost. “State hospitals are already overcrowded with patients having to queue for hours, sometimes days before they are attended to. This clinic means 800 to 900 less patients in queues at state facilities’ said Swartz, adding that the entire O&L workforce are members of the group’s ‘vitality programme’ which grants HIV-positive employees access to necessary treatment and medication.
Hangana Seafood Managing Director Herman Theron, said discussions are on the table to make healthcare services available to the children of employees, and eventually also to the rest of the companies under the O&L umbrella at the coast.
“This facility forms part of a bigger picture, not only for Hangana Seafood, but for the country at large. The Hangana Seafood on-site clinic is evident of the fruits of a Private Public Partnership. The benefits of the private sector and the government working together is the smart way to go. Because of the partnership we have with the government, we are able to provide this service, and our workers do not have to move an inch to get medication and healthcare when needed, but instead it is all brought to them” he elaborated.
The clinic is staffed by six permanent employees comprising two registered nurses with dispensing licences, one enrolled nurse; an administration controller; a general assistant, and one wellness coordinator. In partnership with Occupational Care Namibia (OCNAM), the clinic also enjoys the services of medical practitioner, Dr. Cliff Webster on a weekly basis.
Sister Stella Mwenyo, one of the registered nurses, said “This clinic most certainly enhances the lives of Hangana Seafood employees. It excites me when companies make an effort to contribute to the good health of its workforce. While access to proper healthcare is essential, it is so expensive and unaffordable for most Namibians. And though medical aid subscription is made available to the staff, most employees choose not to subscribe because of the high cost involved. Employees choose to use their disposable income to care for their extended families, and [rather] make use of government facilities. This clinic basically comes to their rescue.”