His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland, Musa Bihi Abdi, laid the first foundation stone for a new multi-story child-mother care ward Hargeisa Group Hospital was building.
President Bihi, speaking at the occasion, counted health service personnel, in general, as one of a group who selflessly serves the nation without an expectation of hefty financial returns.
“It is my sincere belief that Health personnel at public facilities such as the Hargeisa Group Hospital has more than earned the highest commendations and esteem of the public they serve. What the state gives them for their services can in no way balance the scales,” he said.
The President said health was one of the areas that his government intends to develop to an extent that patients going abroad for health services would find it here.
“High, government officials and people who can financially afford it seek medical treatment abroad. This is because, mainly, our facilities lack requisite facilities and/or ‘speciality’ care – or both. From now on, my government will work on bridging that need,” he said.
President Bihi, however, did not say how it could be realistically done within the duration of his term.
Whatever care hospitals extend to the public is far outweighed by a myriad of shortcomings that turn many into anything but a ‘health’ facility.
The good, the caring, the equipped and the humane are becoming a rarity among health facilities in Somaliland, these days. The better equipped among them keep off those who needed them most because, chiefly, of the pricing attached to seeing the doctor for diagnoses or for in-patient care.
Hargeisa Group Hospital and other health facilities in the capital, Hargeisa, and elsewhere in the country need to cut a long mile before they meet the kind of a promise the president made. For one most of them are nothing but seedy lodging facilities which are priced exorbitantly. Secondly, many of them leave the facilities to young nurses some of whom are into their first or second-year studies in university. Thirdly, equipment, facilities, labs and machines crucial to proper health care are either missing, rundown or lie idle for want of technical expertise.
If a person, for instance, is run over by a car and is brought to the hospital not accompanied by relatives who know their way about, care given that person remains minimal, negligent and, on occasion, counter-productive.
Sometimes, unaccompanied patients on pain are tied to the bedpost unattended.
Najah construction won the bid to build the new facility at the site of the old emergency ward.