Host cities' health services on track

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pretoria - All host cities will be more than ready to deliver the best health services during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, preliminary reports suggest.

On Monday, the Western Cape reported that Emergency Medical Service (EMS) planning was completed.

"All medical equipment and vehicles have been delivered; the hospital planning has been done and all nine hospitals have been part of the disaster exercises and test events have been completed," said provincial EMS deputy director, Dr Wayne Smith.

Eastern Cape's 2010 co-ordinator Mbulelo Fani said "it was just a question of consolidating what we already have and putting all resources together".

Fani said the province was on track with a new trauma unit expected to be completed and handed over by the end of May.

"Staff have been appointed, including doctors and nurses. If the need arises, we will take the resources to the districts, but we don't foresee any problems," he said.

Except for the delivery of ambulances and medical equipment, the Free State reported an 80 percent readiness.

"Our planning was based on what we've learned during the Confeds Cup and work on the experiences gained at the time. The challenge is the filling of vacant posts.

"We should be 100 percent ready by 20 May with all resources being delivered," said 2010 Free State Health Co-ordinator Thabo Raleting.

KwaZulu-Natal reported an 80 percent readiness as 75 EMS ambulances dedicated to the event have been procured.

2010 provincial co-ordinator Sibongiseni Ngema said the deployment plan and training of staff have commenced with dry runs taking place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The construction of isolation facilities at four provincial hospitals is expected to be completed in May at four provincial hospitals, he said.

However, among the challenges facing the province included the non-availability of largely port health staff, slow progress with infrastructure upgrades and delays with equipment delivery.

Other provinces such as Gauteng and Mpumalanga are almost ready to deliver world class health services. However, North West and Limpopo are experiencing challenges but have assured the Department of Health that they would be completed before April.