The Gauteng Health Department says it will put more resources into turning around its public health institutions and stabilise the finances of the department over the next five years.
Tabling her department’s R31.5-billion budget for 201415 on Tuesday, Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said the department will refocus expenditure to deliver on its new priorities, which include primary health care (PHC), infrastructure, quality public health care, healthy lifestyles and information and communication technology (ICT).
MEC Mahlangu said PHC requires an “activist and community-oriented approach”, which will hinge on ward-based outreach teams, district clinical specialist teams and integrated school health services.
“Ward-based outreach teams … comprise community health workers providing basic health information education, and making the necessary referrals to clinics where required,” the MEC said.
These teams are currently active in 133 wards and we will be expanded to cover all 508 wards.
Clinical specialist teams have also been set up to improve PHC services at clinics.
An amount of R1.7 billion has been allocated for infrastructure, of which R629.26 million is allocated for capital projects and R1.1 billion for maintenance works.
Key infrastructure projects include the opening of the new Natalspruit Regional Hospital with 821 beds later this year.
Due to the growing population around Tembisa and the Johannesburg Inner City, MEC Mahlangu said they will review the decision to close Kempton Park and Hillbrow Hospitals.
The department has, in partnership with Lean Institute Africa, started a programme to address waiting times. The initiative has started with the province’s 36 hospitals and it is being spread to PHC facilities.
“To further reduce patient waiting times and the loss of files, we have launched a project at Southrand Hospital to put 2 000 patient files onto a real time integrated electronic system,” said MEC Mahlangu.
Reducing HIV, TB
The department wants to reduce the rate of new HIV infections by 50% through focusing on social, behavioural and structural factors. It will also increase to 18 the number of GeneXpert machines available to diagnose TB within 24 hours.
An additional five facilities that treat Multiple Drug Resistant TB will be added to the existing 12 hospitals and 27 clinics that currently render the service. An amount of R225 million has been allocated to this programme.
MEC Mahlangu also announced that the department will upgrade its ICT infrastructure at all its institutions.
Source : SAnews.gov.za