KZN is on track for NHI

2013-08-14 00:00

HEALTH MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said KZN was on track to pilot three sites to implement the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme.

After his department assessed the sites — in the Umgungundlovu, Umzinyathi and Amajuba districts — Dhlomo said in a statement that it had taken stock of what had been accomplished so far and decided on what should be tackled at each site in future.

In the Umgungundlovu region, 14 teams of medical professionals were in place to look after families in Impendle, Richmond, uMshwathi, uMkhambathini, uMngeni, Mpofana and Msunduzi.

Dhlomo said mobile eye, teeth and general health clinics had also been bought to service schools, and three new clinics were to be commissioned at Ezimwini (uMkhambathini), Mambedwini (uMshwathi) and Mahlutshini (Impendle).

He added that pharmacy assistants had also been appointed for clinics at Taylor’s Halt, Caluza, Mpumuza, Mpophomeni and Northdale.

At the Amajuba pilot project, 53 staff received management training and operational managers at local primary health care institutions were trained in data collection.

“The district has also commenced with mobile pharmacy services where more than 1 200 clients now collect their medicine in the Sukuma Sakhe war rooms.

“School health teams, 12 in all, have been appointed and are already servicing 4 232 grade one pupoils at 98 schools,” said Dhlomo, adding that the district had also appointed a clinical specialist team consisting of an advanced midwife and a primary health care nurse.

He said the procurement of equipment for both clinics and the hospital was now at the tender stage and the replenishment of linen at hospitals was under way.

The chief executive officers of the hospitals and district managers had also received leadership and advanced management training, he said.

“All CEO posts in the hospitals have also been filled, with the exception of Church of Scotland Hospital, where the post has been advertised.”

He added that progress had been made at Charles James Memorial Hospital, where the construction of a nursing college was complete and a new kitchen and laundry were nearing completion.

Dhlomo said new paediatric and TB wards for Church of Scotland Hospital were under construction, while a new pharmacy at Greytown Hospital and a community health centre at Pomeroy were nearing completion.

“Our focus now is on strengthening supply chain management, referrals and planning, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, but we are on course,’’ he said.

The update on the sites comes after it was reported that the department had asked to roll over R15 million it had received from national Treasury for National Health Insurance projects that it had not spent in the last financial year.

The roll-over is expected to supplement the reduced R9,7 million allocated for the province for the scheme in this financial year. The province’s budget for the scheme was slashed from the R33 million allocated in 2012/13.

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