Monday, October 31, 2011

SA deploys technologies to boost health sector


The South African government has advanced plans to deploy appropriate technologies to boost its health care system.

South African Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi made this disclosure recently at the launch of Human Resource for Health Strategy in Wits University.

He also said that the health system must provide safe facilities which have the appropriate technology and materials for health workers to discharge their duties diligently.

“We have embarked on strategies to ensure that all these factors are addressed,” he said. According to him, there is a coordinated health facility planning that has developed revitalisation plans for hospitals and nursing colleges.

To this end, he said, some advisory committee has been put in place which produced an essential technology list.

This, he said, is a list of minimum equipment each facility must have to deliver quality and safe health care.

“An audit of more than 4000 facilities is currently underway, this audit assesses among others; human resources, facility management, supply and logistics, etc. We will be setting up teams to work closely with the facilities to develop quality improvement and health system strengthening plans for each facility,” he said.

The South African government, he said, believes this would result in well-equipped and better staffed facilities that will enable health workers to focus on what they know best, that is, delivering quality health care in facilities they are proud to be part of.

So far, he said, his office has presented a wide ranging interventions to address human resource challenges.

This, he said, involve a process of systematic planning integrating facility improvement, working with private providers, increasing the number of student intake, refurbishing institutions and constructing new faculties as part of our response to the Human Resource shortages we face.

Further, he said, the previous sections have addressed the push and pull factors within the HR system and have addressed individual and systematic issues.

One of the weaknesses at organisational level is the management skill at facility and district level. Studies have demonstrated that it is not only financial incentives that make them leave but sometimes how they are managed or “mismanaged”. The public health sector has to ensure that environment in which health workers operate is conducive.

Remmy Nweke

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