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President Jacob Zuma will take almost half his cabinet to Limpopo this week to monitor and evaluate the provincial government’s progress in delivering health services.
National health spokeswoman Zanele Mngadi yesterday confirmed that Zuma would visit Siloam Hospital in Thohoyandou and Lebowakgomo Hospital in Lebowakgomo outside Polokwane on Thursday.
“The president and his delegation are expected to interact with key roleplayers in the health sector, including patients, medical and traditional practitioners, and senior management, to see how the province has strengthened health system effectiveness,” Mngadi said.
Mngadi said Zuma would be accompanied by performance monitoring and evaluation minister Collins Chabane and his deputy, Dina Pule.
Other delegates include finance minister Pravin Gordhan, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi and his deputy Gwen Ramokgopa, Public works minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and social development minister Bathabile Dlamini.
“Among others, they are expected to look at maternal and child mortality rates, combating HIV/Aids and decreasing the burden of diseases like tuberculosis,” said Mngadi.
She said this visit was in line with national efforts to revamp the public health system through the implementation of the re-engineered Primary Health Care model.
Mngadi said six other hospitals and clinics in the province would also be evaluated. – AENS
HEALTH Minister Aaron Motsoaledi yesterday revealed a proposal to introduce three levels of healthcare in SA, with a focus on underserved areas such as rural regions and schools.
The proposal came at the Board of Healthcare Funders’ annual conference, where Dr Motsoaledi called for the regulation of healthcare fees .
He said manufacturers of antiretrovirals (ARVs) originally told the government it was not possible to reduce the cost of the life-saving HIV/AIDS medication because it was expensive. "We said: ‘ Give us the costs .’ And when the costs were given, we found that ... it was not as expensive as that," Dr Motsoaledi said. "And you remember we reduced ARV ( prices ) by 50%, didn’t we?"
Dr Motsoaledi elicited a swift response from the private healthcare industry last week after he broke down the cost of a circumcision in a private hospital.
According to a presentation by Dr Motsoaledi , hospital fees alone ranged between R4184 and R13900, excluding urologist and anaesthetist fees. These hospital fees did not include an overnight stay. In contrast, one of the urologists could do the procedure for R1500 in his rooms, and general practitioners in townships charged R600-R1200.
After a similar presentation last week, private healthcare providers said state hospitals charged less as they were subsided by taxpayers.
Whether medical schemes have to pay in full the minimum prescribed benefits or not to their clients is the subject of a court appeal.
During his presentation yesterday, Dr Mostoaledi hit out at the "deadly divide" in SA’s healthcare system . He announced a plan to introduce three streams of care, which would have an increased effect in rural areas.
The first is the provision of specialists in each of the rural district municipalities. These positions would be announced by the end of this month, and if the posts were not filled, the minister had received an undertaking from all the medical schools in the country to fill the posts from among their own staff on a year-long rotational basis.
The second part of the plan was the establishment of a school health programme. "We have 12-million learners and no one taking care of their eyesight and hearing. Drugs and teen pregnancies are running rampant, while we wait for them at the hospital. I want to see nurses in every school, and we will call on the help of retired nurses if necessary."
The third facet of the proposal was the provision of primary healthcare workers in every municipality. The success of a pilot project in KwaZulu- Natal has led to plans to roll out the system in every municipality in the country. With Sapa