19 January 2011

South Africa: Back to Basics for Health Professionals

Pretoria — It's back to fundamentals for health professionals in the North West as Health MEC, Dr Magome Masike, challenged workers to restore the dignity and respect of their profession.

Speaking to health workers during recent visits to various provincial clinics to assess their working conditions, Dr Masike emphasised on institutions' cleanliness and changing attitudes of employees.

"Getting back to the basics is about doing things right, getting health professionals to love doing their job by improving their working conditions and effectively implementing all quality areas of health care," he said.

He also called on department managers to immediately attend to all outstanding maintenance work and upgrading of clinics in the province -- this after witnessing a number of facilities requiring paint work, fixing of fences, furniture and general maintenance of the buildings.

"We want our nurses to be productive and the best way of getting them to be productive is to improve their working conditions. Our facilities must reflect a healthy environment and they must be seen from outside as places of healing."

Following the visit to the clinics, Masike called an urgent meeting with the capital planning manager and instructed that a programme of action with clear target dates must be developed and implemented within the current financial year as there was still budget available for maintenance of facilities.

Among the objectives of the 10-point plan, developed by the national Health Department, are the overhauling of the health care system, where safety and security of patients, attitude of staff toward patients, dirty hospitals and number of hours spent by patients in a queue, are some of the issues needing immediate attention.

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