SOUTH AFRICA – The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa has announced on its site that healthcare stakeholders have met and had talks on ways to improve healthcare delivery in the country.
According to the government body, South African health authorities held a stakeholder engagement meeting emphasizing on the urgency of improving the state of the hospitals in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.
The Portfolio Committee on Health highlighted that the engagement involved the Eastern Cape MEC for Health and leaders of the provincial Department of Health and other stakeholders.
“The committee was in the Eastern Cape on a three-day oversight visit to the hospitals to assess, among other things, their implementation of the recommendations from the Public Protector, the Health Ombud and the Special Investigative Unit,” the statement said.
The stakeholder engagement aimed at improving patient care at selected hospitals including Uitenhage and Port Elizabeth provincial hospitals as well as Dora Nginza and Livingstone hospitals.
“The committee will hold virtual meetings after three months with the hospital leadership to assess progress on their implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector, the Health Ombud, the Special Investigative Unit and the portfolio committee,” the house stated.
They also agreed that the degeneration of Dora Nginza Hospital and Livingstone Tertiary Hospital sullies the image of the people after whom the hospitals were named, therefore, the provincial Department of Health will improve matters at the hospitals.
“Furthermore, the committee will have quarterly engagements with the provincial Department of Health on various issues, including making sure improvements at the hospitals occur,” the South African parliament announced in a release.
The Chairperson of the committee, Dr. Kenneth Jacobs cautioned the MEC that hospitals are in a dilapidated condition while informing them about what the committee found after it visited the hospitals.
“The committee will hold virtual meetings after three months with the hospital leadership to assess progress on their implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector. This is very concerning and requires urgent intervention,” he said.
He further stressed that hospital leadership must ensure that the shortage of both clinical and non-clinical staff is urgently addressed at all the hospitals and to attend to low staff morale, noting that the provincial department must fast-track filling vacancies in its turnaround plan for the hospitals.
“The areas of accruals, medico-legal claims, realignment of budget to improve service delivery, digitization of medical records, re-establishing training platforms for healthcare workers, and the safety and security of both the patients and staff,” the Chairman pointed out.
In addition, he accentuated that the turnaround plan that the provincial Department of Health presented to the committee for the hospitals will be meaningless if it is not coupled with time frames.