Govt identifies health facilities for improvement

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pretoria - A number of health facilities throughout the country have been identified for improvement.

The health facilities, identified in both the state and private sectors, are to be assessed to see how they can be brought up to standard and in line with the National Health Core Standards.

They will further receive assistance in areas such as human resources.

Government is currently on a drive to overhaul the healthcare sector and on Tuesday Deputy Health Minister, Dr Molefi Sefularo, outlined six priority areas where improvements can be made to the country's healthcare sector.

This includes improved patient safety, infection prevention and control, the availability of medicines, reducing waiting times, improving cleanliness and creating a positive and caring attitude among health workers.

Dr Sefularo said the campaign would be based on work done in individual facilities by staff who provided care directly to patients, rather than being driven by the national and provincial offices.

"A very critical and essential part of this campaign for quality will be sharing the methods and skills of quality improvement throughout the system," Dr Sefularo said.

At least 514 projects in the public sector and 137 quality improvement projects in the private sector have been brought together to improve the entire system.

"We will build on what already exists, invest in sharing lessons across a learning network and empower supervisors and managers to be able to coach and mentor those they support," Dr Sefularo said.

Chief Executive Officer of the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Advocate Boyce Mkhize, said that 60 percent of complaints received by the council was not about clinical care but about poor skills, poor management and attitudes of staff.