Gauteng health turnaround plan making strides

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Pretoria – Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo says the province’s Health Turnaround Strategy is yielding positive results.

“We plan to continue with efforts to ensure the provision of better healthcare services in Gauteng.

“As part of the turnaround strategy, the provincial Health Department focused on restoring effective controls and systems and improving efficiencies, capacity and management in key areas,” said Papo in a post State of the Province Address on Sunday.

Attention was paid to four central hospitals -- Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic, Dr George Mukhari and Steve Biko Pretoria Academic.

To ensure the effective functioning of these and other hospitals, the implementation of the strategy addressed staffing, equipment, the number of beds, the working environment, supply of drugs as well as patient and staff satisfaction and morale.

“Through the strategy, infrastructure maintenance and provisioning of electro-mechanical equipment has been notably improved,” said Papo.

In Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic, 14 autoclaves, 12 generators, five chillers, six gas sterilisers and five boilers are all fully functional. 

The hospital is scheduled to have 40 lifts in total;25 are functional, one is being repaired and 16 are scheduled to be replaced.  All laundry machines are functional.

At Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, medical and ICU wards have been refurbished and new lifts, chillers and boilers have been installed. 

To prevent challenges in theatres during power outages, new generators have been put in place and permanent onsite maintenance officials have been appointed. 

Last month, a project to refurbish a total of 13 nurses and doctors’ residences to an acceptable state commenced.  The project includes residences in Lebone Nursing and EMS College, SG Lourens, Ann Lansky, Chris Hani, Coronation and Ga-Rankuwa Nursing Colleges. Hospitals include Natalspruit, Tembisa, Sebokeng, Helen Joseph and Charlotte Maxeke.

Other improvements as a result of the implementation of the Health Turnaround Strategy include the availability of essential medicines at facilities from 40% to 78%. 

“In the year ahead, we aim to increase this to 98%,” said Papo.

The re-engineering of the Medical Supply Depot is underway and in 2013/2014, the construction of the new Gauteng Medical Supply Depot will commence.

The province continues to strengthen the fight against HIV and Aids.

Over four million people have been reached through HIV Counselling and Testing initiatives since 2011. Of the estimated 1.2 million Gauteng residents who are HIV positive, close to 900 000 now have access to anti-retroviral therapy through the public health system – a big increase compared to just 75 000 in 2006. 

Another focus for 2013/14 will be the repositioning of Emergency Medical Services in the province to improve response times and the quality of service. 

The province will procure 100 new ambulances and 20 specialised obstetric ambulances to respond to expectant women in labour.

The construction of the Zola/Jabulani hospital will be completed early in the new financial year. 

“From 1 April 2013, the full package of services will be offered including casualty, surgery, medical, orthopaedics, maternity services, paediatric services, mortuary, food services, linen, theatre, administration.

“The hospital will be operational from this date and they will operate at between 70% and 90% capacity.

We are hopeful that the department’s efforts to improve the quality of health care for all South Africans will yield positive results in the 2013/14 financial year,” said Papo. –