Child services take centre stage

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pretoria - Deputy Health Minister Dr Gwen Ramokgopa has challenged health workers to put more focus on achieving better outcomes on child services.

"There are overwhelming problems in child health service in our country and health workers should go to where the problems are, look for simple solutions and give more focus to achieving better outcomes on child health services," said Ramokgopa at the Child Health Summit held in Bloemfontein.

Research has shown that the Free State has a challenge with regards to the number of pregnant mothers and infants.

During the summit, the creation of primary health care, family-based health teams at ward level was recommended as a key element of re-engineering provincial health care.

The teams would work with communities to improve health outcomes in paediatric and child health and form part of provincial primary health care re-engineering strategy.

The summit also resolved to address structural and operational changes to the provision of child health services from primary to tertiary health care level and highlighted the positive effects of the primary health care re-engineering on the health system in the Free State.

Also received increased attention included the human resource related issues, the need to increase the uptake for pre- and post-graduate medical training, training of nurses, partnership with tertiary institutions for advanced emergency care training, delivery of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and post basic neo-natal nursing care.

The summit further raised concerns regarding a number of hoax calls received by EMS after 3pm and the subsequent effect it has on real emergencies.

The province is in the process of procuring 18 designated obstetric ambulances to improve service delivery. General ambulances will also be allowed to access the nearest appropriate health facility and deviate from the referral route to ensure that the patient arrives at the health facilities in the shortest possible time.

Free State Premier Ace Magashule reminded delegates that the province is part of South Africa and therefore support the process of restructuring health services.

"Maternal and child health is an important focus and health must make use of the expertise available in the Faculty of Health Sciences, we all need to go back to the basics," said Magashule.

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