Dhlomo satisfied with progress at NHI pilot sites

2014-08-15 00:00

HEALTH MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo is satisfied with the progress being made at clinics and hospitals earmarked as National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot sites.

Dhlomo went on a walkabout yesterday in the Umgungundlovu District visiting the Grange clinic in Richmond as well as Grey’s and Edendale hospitals. The MEC said that besides the bigger structural changes, it was the little things that counted in offering people quality health care. These would include ensuring that there was toilet paper in the toilets, brooms for cleaning and proper signage.

For Dhlomo, another pleasing development was that there were now doctors at the clinics in the pilot sites. This meant that referrals will be more direct — from doctor to doctor. A patient from a clinic in Nquthu will no longer have to repeat his medical history on arrival at Grey’s.

The MEC’s walkabout ended on a heart-warming note at Edendale Hospital. He was delighted by a youth community outreach programme involving the hospital in partnerhip with Africaid Trust and other NGOs.

His visit was to the Whizzkids United Health Academy, open at the hospital since June 2010. Dhlomo saw the artwork done by the students, and heard about the professional health and counselling services on offer.

The MEC met the young “Game Changers” involved in the programme. They challenged him to try his luck as a goal-scorer on their astro-turf pitch donated by the South African Football Association. An energetic staff member from Dhlomo’s entourage did not give his boss a break and made a save.

The MEC was so impressed by the work being done that he volunteered to spend some time with the young people. He said he was arrested four days before he was due to start his internship at Edendale Hospital and ended up on Robben Island.

“I have to find a way to pay back that time by giving back to the hospital,” he said.

The National Health Insurance (NHI) is defined as the health system that South Africa has adopted, that insures the national population for the costs of health care. In South Africa it is a programme of healthcare reform.

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