Oshikuku Hospital in Omusati Region is said to be rotten with corruption, nepotism and incompetence resulting in poor service delivery and a litany of grievances by employees and members of the community in and around the Roman Catholic Church-owned facility.
In a grievance letter seen by Informanté, the Principal Medical Officer (PMO) Dr. S. Awe is heavily criticised for incompetence and for skewed recruitment practices, which it is alleged have resulted in the employment of cronies.
“Apart from positions of doctors, nurses and top administrative and management officials, other vacancies at Oshikuku Hospital are not advertised in order to give a chance to all people to apply. Recruitment of ordinary workers is done secretly without interviews. Oshikuku Hospital is receiving subsidies from the government, but is failing to follow accepted standing rules and procedures of employment,” alleged one inside source.
The source listed some of the friends of the PMO, allegedly recruited under dubious circumstances, as a certain Johannes Mukwiilongo, a pharmacy labourer, Paulus Mukwiilongo, a porter and Wilbard Mukwiilongo, who is a cleaner. It is further reported that the wife of Johannes Mukwiilongo is also on the waiting list to be employed. Another of the presumed friends of the PMO is a certain security guard, Andreas Kapundja, several of whose siblings and nephews are also employed there, including a porter, Michael Kapundja, Jeremia Zeka, a nephew of his who is a cleaner and another nephew, Salomo Amakali, a general health worker. It is alleged that the Oshikuku Hospital, also known as St Martin Hospital, is jam-packed with brothers and sisters, in- laws, husband and wives.
Doctors are accused of not responding to emergency cases, as some of doctors on call apparently do not use the allocated call-room, but instead sleep at their homes. It is further alleged in the letter that maternity deaths are increasing at Oshikuku Hospital, prompting calls for a comprehensive investigation to address the situation. The recruitment of four nuns in 2010 is also being questioned. The nuns are working as a driver, pharmacy assistant, cook and finance clerk.
A lack of housing is another problem at Oshikuku Hospital and is said to be negatively affected by poor management decisions, resulting in staff members leaving for greener pastures. Dr. Awe promised to provide feedback by Tuesday, 22 May, but did not do so by the time of going to press.