Gauteng Health improves blood test ordering

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pretoria - The Gauteng Department of Health, in collaboration with the National Health Laboratory Services, is implementing a new system that will make ordering blood tests by doctors more efficient.

The electronic gate-keeping system, currently being implemented in 20 hospitals, was first piloted at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, where it significantly reduced costs associated with laboratory services tests.

The hospitals that will benefit from the new system are Steve Biko Academic, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic, Dr George Mukhari, Kalafong, Helen Joseph, Leratong, Tembisa, Tambo Memorial, Sebokeng, Natalspruit, Rahima Moosa, Far East Rand, Pholosong; Mamelodi, Jubilee, Kopanong, Edenvale, South Rand and Germiston.

Department head Dr Nomonde Xundu said they have also improved the controls on the distribution of medicines from the supply depot to facilities, and the review of the business model of the medical supply depot in partnership with USAID had been started.

"This is a 12-month project that has been introduced in order to increase patient access to medicine, improve warehousing and establish ICT systems at regional pharmacies. A provincial pharmaceutical and therapeutic committee of experts to monitor ... the ... use of medicines has also been established," said Xundu.

She said the committee will also interrogate scientific evidence for protocols, assist in ensuring the availability of essential drugs and advise the department on drug related matters.

Meanwhile, the department has paid R2.5 million to Little Eden Society and R486 864 to Vita Nova centres, in an effort to bring relief to mental health NGOs.

To further reduce accruals, the department reported that it is currently processing payments to other NGOs and service providers, to be paid during this month.

"The department has now entered in the final phase of payments to clear all outstanding debts, all the invoices from the previous financial year will be paid by end of June this year," the department said.

It added that a total of R11.1 billion has been paid to suppliers since April last year and aims to pay all suppliers owed under R1 million by the end of this month.

"Debts owed under R100 million will be settled by May and suppliers owed over R100 million will receive their settlement payments by June this year."

To enquire about payments, service providers can call the department's contact centre on 011 355 2222/7633/7650/7636 or 7633.