Pretoria - The Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development has in the last financial year generated R76 million from a project which bridges the gap between public and private health sectors.
The Folateng project, a revenue generating initiative launched by the department a few years ago, consists of Folateng units which are situated in four of Gauteng's public hospitals and serve as a bridge between public and private health sectors.
The money generated from these units make the acquisition of major items of medical equipment more affordable to participating hospitals and allows affording members of the community an opportunity to receive high level medical care at a rate lower than that of private hospitals.
According to a statement by the department, full time medical officers have been appointed at all Folateng units and this move has resulted in an increase in utilization of these services.
The first unit was commissioned at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in May 2002. It started with 32 beds, now has 100 beds and extensions are underway for a further 100 beds, including 20 beds in the Intensive Care Unit.
The Helen Joseph Hospital unit opened in June 2003 with 42 beds. The third unit was opened at Pretoria West Hospital in June 2003 with 52 beds. Five of these beds are now used for maternity services.
The most recent unit to be commissioned is at Sebokeng Hospital. It began to operate in April 2005 with 36 beds, eight of which were set aside for maternity services.