South Africa: MEC Madoda Sambatha Announces Extension of Operating Hours At Clinics and Community Health Centres

press release

North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha on Thursday presented over R12 billion departmental budget for the financial year 2019/2020 at the provincial legislature.

MEC Sambatha said the budget will be channeled towards ten health service delivery areas. The focus areas include implementation of National Health Insurance, health promotion, health service infrastructure, human resources, improving quality through the Ideal clinics and hospitals, and medicines and surgical supplies. The budget will also focus on improving emergency services, HIV and Tuberculosis services; maternal, child and women's health, chronic disease management, improved security services as well as governance and consequence management, he said.

MEC Sambatha said the department is working tirelessly to improve access to primary health care by increasing operating hours.

"In the next 12 months, we will increase 24-hour service availability by an additional nine health facilities from the current 68. The number will increase by at least ten health facilities per year for the next five years, targeting the most rural communities in a manner that address equity of access to health services.

"As part of relieving hospitals from the burden of an excess of patients who should be treated at primary health care level, we will also include Mafikeng Gateway Clinic and Taung Gateway Clinic to operate 24-hour services," he said.

Primary healthcare facilities that will be prioritized for 24-hour service include Sekhing, Moshana community health centers and Matsheng, Weltevreden, Madibogopan, Obakeng, Bethanie and Madikwe clinics while Buxton clinic will have operating hours extended to 12 hours

The expansion of operating hours will be linked to bursaries offered by Department at the North West Nursing College and North West University. The two institutions produced 475 nurses in both basic and post-basic courses last year and they care currently serving the people of North West.

MEC Sambatha said the Department will unveil electronic patient appointment booking system with the aim to address challenges of long queues and overcrowding.

Joe Morolong Hospital has entered into an agreement with Braun Renal Care Unit on the provision of renal dialysis services.

"This partnership brings dialysis services closer to home for the people of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District. The District has been relying on referring patients to other facilities especially to Klerksdorp-Tshepong Hospital and am pleased that the traveling will now end," he said.

He announced that his Department has embarked on the reorganization of the Mmabatho Medical Store and the provincial management of pharmaceutical services, with regard to systems and human resources, in order to improve medicine availability through rational use and effective ordering, warehousing, distribution and payment systems.

"This is a massive process involving 13 work streams at the Medical Store and 12 work streams at provincial and district levels. This reorganization process has to be appropriately resourced in order to achieve the desired result of improved medicine availability in an acceptable time period,' he said.

Issued by: North West Health

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