There are only 18 beds available in intensive care units (ICU) in Namibian state hospitals. Private hospitals offer an additional 67 ICU beds countrywide.
These figures were provided by health minister Kalumbi Shangula in the National Assembly last year.
The public healthcare system had 0.33 doctors and 2.02 nurses per 1 000 residents in 2018, Dr Shangula said.
The state’s 357 health facilities countrywide consisted of clinics, healthcare centres, state hospitals and district hospitals. There were also 1 150 health outreach points, Shangula said.
According to Namibia’s first Health Expenditure Review, which was released only months before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, these public health facilities offer 7 551 beds – translating to 3.2 beds per 1 000
Most health facilities are concentrated in a few towns in northern and central Namibia.
The populous Ohangwena Region has the lowest ratio of hospital beds to population size.
According to the report about 21% of Namibians live more than 10 kilometres from the nearest healthcare provider.
The 18 ICU beds in state hospitals consist of eight at the Windhoek Central Hospital, six at the Oshakati State Hospital and four at the Onandjokwe State Hospital.
All the private hospitals in Namibia combined have a total of 43 general ICU beds and 24 paediatric ICU beds.
In Windhoek, the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital has 27 ICU beds, Mediclinic has 14 beds, the Rhino Park Private Hospital has five and the Roman Catholic Hospital has ten, Shangula said.
The Welwitschia Private Hospital at the coast has four ICU beds, Ondangwa Medipark in the north has one and the Rundu Private Hospital has six.
According to the report there are 101 private health facilities with 1 144 beds in Namibia, most of them in the Khomas and Erongo regions.
Namibia has a total number of 1 222 doctors in the public and private healthcare sectors combined. About half of them work in the Khomas Region.