Tag Archive | medical professionals

Parliament told of lack of doctors

NHI threatened by lack of doctors, professionals….

aaron motsolaediLack of doctors and nurses in public health institutions still bedevils South African the public health system and could stymie plans to instigate a national health insurance programme as part of the plan to  re-engineer the primary health system and to introduce quality health systems.

This was said by Dr Aaron Motsoaledi when updating members of the portfolio committee on health on the state of progress with National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot projects, these being eleven selected health areas which included both full hospitals and clinics in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Health building programme going well

After dwelling on the successes of the department of health enumerated by President Zuma in his State of the Nation Address, including the 300 new health facilities built over the last five years, including 160 new clinics and the fact that 2.4million people were initiated on antiretrovirals, Dr Motsoaledi turned to what he referred as “the major problem facing health in South Africa”, the inability to retain the services of doctors and nurses.

He said that sub-Sahara Africa was now nominated by the World Health Organization as a crisis area simply because this is where the paucity of doctors and nurses was being felt most. He said the inability to pay the right kind of money to attract highly retained staff was a common problem to many countries.

He quoted Canada which he, had recently visited who were losing staff, he said, in great numbers to the USA but said they were lucky inasmuch as professionals from Africa were filling those gaps. Dr Motsoaledi said that the problem of lack of doctors had to resolved before the NHI was rolled out, South Africa having one of the lowest patient to doctor ratios worldwide.

“No steal” agreements

He said that Middle East countries and the USA had to agree not to include on their recruitment agendas professional medical staff from countries such as South Africa where health was in a developmental stage and such fragile staffing ratios existed.

hospital newDr Motsoaledi spent considerable time updating members of parliament on the process of grading hospitals and clinics, where maintenance of facilities was a critical issue. “If a facility is maintained properly within a cyclical programme of repairs and replacements, then we shall be able to expand our services but if not, we shall go downhill on this issue”

He quoted statistics which showed a cost R2 for each rand of original cost of repairs if maintenance were performed on schedule each year as against R60 rand per rand of original cost if nothing was done to a particular facility for ten years. He showed breakdowns of the hospitals and clinics in the NHI test area where in many areas, either electrical, plumbing or inability to generate hot water was leading a facility to be condemned.

He said the infrastructure build and repair and maintenance programme were part of a SIP programme generated by the current presidential priority build programme to correct this and he was confident that breakthroughs would be made. Innovative ways, he said, were being found to solve problems such as new types of lesser cost buildings and by contracting GPs to work in public clinics.

Previous articles in this category
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//health/health-dept-winning-on-hiv-aids-therapy-and-tb/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/state-acknowledges-responsibility-to-increase-health-staff/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//uncategorized/competition-commission-promises-health-care-inquiry/

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