_: KwaZulu-Natal communities will from Tuesday, 13 August get a chance to dialogue with Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela and her Deputy, Advocate Kevin Malunga, about health and poverty issues in their province.
The Public Protector will be in the province as part of her office’s ongoing stakeholder consultative dialogue, which aims to help strengthen government’s ability to deliver on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with a particular emphasis on health and poverty.
Improving health and reducing hunger and poverty are among the eight MDGs that South Africa committed to achieve by 2015. The Public Protector will also commemorate Women’s Month in the province.
The critical areas under the microscope include infant mortality, management of healthcare facilities, quality of care, resources, procurement, working conditions of staff and other general health issues.
During her four-day stay in the province, the Public Protector will engage with various stakeholders, including members of provincial legislatures, government, traditional authorities, civil society, political parties, organised women groupings and the general public. She will also conduct unannounced site-visits to pre-identified healthcare facilities to interact first-hand with healthcare professionals and patients.
The Public Protector’s first stop in the province will be in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, 13 August, where she will preside over a public hearing on poverty and health matters. The event will be attended by chief executives from public hospitals, academics, provincial executives and representatives of the health sector NGOs. She will then hold a closed meeting with the provincial legislature on Wednesday, 14 August.
The Public Protector will then switch focus to women’s issue during commemoration of Women’s Month in Ulundi on Thursday, 15 August. She will use the event to advance the objectives of her stakeholder dialogue.
The Public Protector will conclude her visit in the province with an outreach event in Richard’s Bay on Friday, 16 August, where she will interface with local communities on health and poverty issues.
The focus of this year’s dialogue is informed by the complaints the Public Protector has been receiving and newspaper reports on the current state of affairs in health facilities such as hospitals and clinics. There have also been sporadic complaints from health caregivers such as doctors.
While recognising the excellent work done by the Department of Health, the public hearings seek to reinforce that work by focusing on trends in maladministration, which have resulted in three systemic investigations the Public Protector is currently conducting on infant mortality, procurement and other health-related complaints raised during 2012 Stakeholder Consultative Dialogue.
The meeting with stakeholders will take place as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 13 August 2013
NB. On this day at 7h30 the Public Protector will conduct an unannounced visit at Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to interact with patients and staff, checking up on the levels of service, among other things. Please note that his detail is not for publication ahead of the visit. The media is however welcome to join the Public Protector on the visit.
The Women’s Month event will be held as follows:
Date: Thursday, 15 August 2013
Venue: CBD Multipurpose Hall, Ulundi
NB. On this day at 07h30 the Public Protector will conduct an unannounced visit at a local health care facility to interact with patients and staff, checking up on the levels of service, among other things. The exact venue will be communicated in due course. Please note that his detail is not for publication ahead of the visit. The media is however welcome to join the Public Protector on the visit.
The outreach event will take place as follows:
Date: Friday, 16 August 2013
Venue: Richards Bay, Sikhawini, Hlanganani Hall
Except for the meeting with the legislature, all the above events, including the surprise visits to health care facilities are open to the media and members of the media can confirm attendance with Mr Oupa Segalwe on 072 264 3273 or by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or Mr Salvation Mokgatlhe on 079 031 5589 or by mail to email@example.com.
The twitter official #hashtag for the visit in the province #PPinKZN.
For more information:
Kgalalelo Masibi, Spokesperson: Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 079 507 0399
Tel: 012 366 7153
Tollfree: 0800 11 20 40