NAMAF hosts 7th healthcare conference
The Namibia Association of Medical Aid Funds (NAMAF) this week held its 7th annual Healthcare conference under the theme: “Is Universal Healthcare Coverage an Answer to Healthcare Delivery.”
The annual NAMAF Conference which has become part of the Health landscape was held in two folds which included a cocktail reception on Tuesday, and a day long conference on Wednesday in the capital.
The conference is used by healthcare professionals as a platform to come together to reflect on some of the challenges facing the provision of health care services in Namibia, particularly in relation to health financing.
Speaking at the opening of the conference on Wednesday, The Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi said that the theme could not be more appropriate, at a time when the entire world is re-shaping itself to focus attention to universal health coverage.
He said, there is need for improved access to quality health care around the world, evidence shows that inequalities in access are also growing and that Namibia is no exception to this reality.
“While the Government of the Republic of Namibia is making every effort to ensure equal access of its citizens to basic services, including health, we are acutely aware of the fact that as Namibians we do not have the same access to the same quality health services. Geographical access as well as financial access remains a concern,” said the minister.
According to WHO, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is defined as the situation where all people are able to use quality health services that they need without financial hardships in paying for them. The main objectives of UHC are to ensure equitable health services that meet quality standards and protect against financial risk for the entire population.
“It means that Namibia should not be the last in the classroom; we need to move with the times and address our needs in this area, because they are immense. Addressing these needs will put us on a path of progress towards achieving better health outcomes for our people,” he said.
Speaking at the cocktail reception of the conference, Tuesday evening, Milner Siboleka, a statistician at the Minister of Health and Social Services said, no proper healthcare system means that the population of the country can not be productive and without production the economy can not grow.
He said, the 6 billion spend on the health sector in 2012 comes from donor funds, the government and individual households.
“In 2012, N$2662 was spent on an individual for health services. The Public and Government spend the most on the health sector which amount to over 50% followed by donor funds and then individual households. It is projected that the health expenditure will be rejected in the next year,” he said.