Infections: ‘doctors part of the challenge’

2010-06-18 00:00

DOCTORS who violate infection control measures in public hospitals and clinics are among the problems facing the health care sector in KwaZulu-Natal, Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dlomo said yesterday.

“Cleanliness and staff attitudes in health facilities play a vital role in the treatment of patients. We need nursing sisters who are able to stand up to doctors when they feel that the latter are disregarding infection measures,” he said.

Dlomo was addressing stakeholders, including mayors from KZN districts, community-based healthcare organisations and traditional leaders, at the first provincial consultative health forum, which was held at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds.

The forum was held to address the numerous challenges faced by the department in order to improve health service delivery.

According to the district health barometer, KZN is one of the three provinces with 10 of the most deprived health districts.

Dlomo said many mothers die while giving birth — the national rate is 450 per 100 000 — an indication that more preventative measures are needed.

“KZN has the biggest challenge of turning around health services and if the issues of poverty, inequality and improvement of people’s resources are not addressed, then certain diseases cannot be controlled,” said Dlomo.

Community-based healthcare organisations raised problems such as water cuts, a shortage of ambulances, a lack of departmental support for NGOs, poor security at clinics and lack of nutritious food for those on HIV and Aids medication.

Health HoD Dr Sibongile Zungu said ambulances and security are a concern in every part of the province.

“We are planning to have more [water] reservoirs for the affected districts,” said Zungu.

The department is also struggling to fill vacancies for critical skills across clinical and non-clinical areas.

A service transformation plan was adopted to strengthen financial management and governance, enhance revenue collection, attract and retain talent, contributing towards balancing the budget.

• Edendale Hospital, which was without water from the municipality for several days, had water again yesterday afternoon, according to public relations officer Samke Mncube.

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