North West Department of Health MEC Madoda Sambatha recently provided an update on the achievements of the Section 100 (1) (b) intervention which was evoked on the department on 25 April 2018.
The placing of the department under administration in terms of this section of the constitution of the Republic of South Africa was as a result of a series of challenges experienced which affected the provision of efficient and adequate health services to communities in the North West province.
Reflecting on achievements of the intervention, MEC Sambatha indicated that key management vacancies had been filled and over five thousand (5000) permanent frontline staff had been appointed to improve the delivery of quality health services to the citizens of the North West.
“Many departmental officials were promoted to higher level positions, thus contributing to staff satisfaction, stability and loyalty toward the Department,” MEC Sambatha said.
“The labour environment has also been stabilized and discipline is slowly returning to the NWDoH in both the areas of financial misconduct and dereliction of duty,” MEC Sambatha added.
MEC Sambatha pointed out that the dismissal of the previous Head of Department was a strategic action that sent a strong message that public service laws and regulations must be respected and adhered to.
This is how the intervention has directly benefitted the people of the province:
- The ratio of Health professionals per 100 000 population have increased, thus rendering health facilities more responsive than they were in 2018.
- Operating theatres were repaired, equipment procured and specialists appointed. This move resulted in a reduction of surgical backlogs in hospitals.
- More MRI scans were conducted, thus improving access to sophisticated diagnostic procedures.
- The renal unit at Klerksdorp-Tshepong was upgraded assisting the province to have more people on renal dialyses.
- Orthopaedic surgeons were appointed leading to reduced backlog of operations and reduced waiting periods for orthopaedic operations
- An Ophthalmologist was appointed at Mahikeng Hospital. This specialist performed more than 200 cataract operations in less than two months after her appointment in 2019, giving eyesight back to our older generation.
- Additional Internal Medicine specialists were appointed, resulting in improved clinical management processes and the elimination of persons, in some of the large hospitals, sleeping on the floor while waiting for treatment. These specialists led COVID-19 management in the seven large hospitals.
- Other key appointments that were made to achieve a positive impact on service delivery include obstetricians, dermatologists, pediatricians, general surgeons, psychologists, speech and audiology therapists as well as family physicians.
- Managers were appointed for Quality Assurance in the seven large hospitals and this added further impetus to the hospitals’ quality improvement drive.
- To support key clinical processes and to ensure that our facilities live up to infection prevention and control principles, additional administrative staff, groundsmen and cleaning staff were also appointed
- Space at primary health care facilities has been improved through infrastructure projects.
The department has further made strides in addressing the shortages of medicine stock in public health facilities.
“The overall provincial medicine availability has reached 81% as per national essential list in the 3rd quarter of 2021/2022. The availability of Antiretrovirals (ARVs) and vaccines for the Extended Programme on Immunization has been maintained above 92%, while Tuberculosis (TB) medicines are above 82%,” MEC Sambatha highlighted.
The Province will experience shortages of specific items from time to time when there is a national problem with that specific medicine. However, information regarding a departmental process of lodging general complaints is available at various health facilities. Through this process, persons who experience medicine shortages can escalate their challenges should they believe they do not get cooperation from the health facilities they are visiting.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: North West Department of Health.
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