Information for Patients
Namibia has a dual system of public and private healthcare providers, with the former serving approximately 85% of the population and the latter serving the remaining 15%. The public health sector is highly subsidized by the government, thereby only a flat rate is charged, depending on the level of the facility. Due to the same reason, medicine is also generally affordable. The private sector, which is relatively organized compared to other African countries, is primarily driven by non-profit medical aid funds that pay benefits directly to medical providers in proportion to the services they offer. Membership in an open medical fund is optional. Employers usually provide some subsidy for premiums, a fringe benefit that is subject to individual income tax. These open funds sell medical aid policies to companies that wish to provide medical aid cover to its employees and individuals, but contributions for individuals are usually higher. However, most of the offered products of these private medical aid funds provide are too expensive for the majority of the population. There is also a huge gap between the urban areas and the rural areas in terms of the accessibility and quality of healthcare services. Medical facilities comparable to international standard can be found in Windhoek, the Namibian capital, and other large towns; however the quality of facilities varies outside of the larger populated areas.
Information for Health Care Professionals
In Namibia, most of the healthcare professionals are trained in foreign countries, including Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, China, Cuba and Algeria. They are regulated by the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia under the Medical and Dental Act of 2004. According to the Act, internship is a prerequisite for a medical graduate to be registered as medical doctors. To register as an intern, all foreign trained medical and dental graduates have to undergo a pre-internship written or oral or clinical examination. To pass the evaluation, one must pass all six modules. The test is conducted in English, which is the official language of the country. It is reported that these pre-internship examinations are extremely difficult to pass. In 2018, only 2 out of 240 foreign trained medical and dental graduates passed the first part of the examination.
Information for Travellers
Namibia’s healthcare system is one of the best in Africa, making it a potential hub for medical tourism in the continent. Namibia’s peaceful and stable environment as well as its fast growing economy also makes it an attractive destination for medical tourism.
However, the country is not immune from major health crises. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a major health problem in Namibia; tuberculosis and malaria are also threats to the Namibians. Travellers planning their way to Namibia are recommended to receive multiple vaccinations, including Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, Rabies and routine vaccinations.
Link to Ministry of Health: http://www.mhss.gov.na/