Namibia: Oshakati Abusive Nurses Removed From Patient Care

Ongwediva — The Ministry of Health and Social Services will investigate the conduct of nurses who have mistreated and assaulted an elderly patient at Oshakati Intermediate Hospital on 28 March 2021.

The executive director at the health ministry, Ben Nangombe, said the nurses have since been removed from direct patient care. Nangombe said the nurses' conduct, maltreatment and assault of the patient can be construed as a criminal offence, requiring police involvement.

"We condemn, in the strongest terms, this callous and heartless act against an elderly patient, placed in our hands for care," said Nangombe. Three nurses were caught on camera using cruel language, with one also slapping the elderly patient.

The patient could be heard saying she is tired of being beaten, while the nurses continued to laugh at her utterances.

In the widely circulated video on social media platforms, the patient was also observed lying on the floor in the room. Nangombe said the ministry has commenced with appropriate steps provided for in the Public Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 13 of 1995).

"An investigation will commence to establish all the relevant facts for appropriate action," said Nangombe further. Meanwhile, Nangombe said the ministry has informed the Public Service Commission about the incident.

Equally, the matter has also been reported to the Health Professions Council of Namibia. He said the ministry has also reached out to the family of the patient to assure and inform them about the steps to be taken and to apologise for the inhumane treatment the patients suffered at the hands of the nurses.

Nangombe reiterated that the ministry is committed to providing quality public health care services with compassion, and treating all clients and patients with integrity and empathy. He thus appealed to anyone with information about the incident to come forth, assuring that the information shared will be handled with confidentiality.

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