Shining example of a hospital
ALL it takes to turn a hospital around and get it ready for the expected National Health Insurance scheme is a bit of "common sense". This is according to Dr Naing Soe, acting CEO of the Tshwane District Hospital since March 2010, who has been lauded as the person who has turned an ailing hospital into a "human place".
Soe found the hospital in a terrible condition.
"The hospital was dirty, full of cockroaches, chairs for patients were broken, staff had no fridges and the toilets had no seats," Soe said.
After making several changes in daily operations, Soe managed to save R8-million in two years.
He managed to reupholster the chairs, buy water coolers, renovate staff and patients' toilets, plant roses in the garden and erect awnings for staff cars.
This was done to keep patients "proud" of the hospital and staff "motivated".
With the equipment budget, he bought new digital X-ray equipment, a portable X-ray machine for immobile patients, a scanning machine and new wheelchairs.
Hospital management, he believes, is only a matter of "human common sense".
Dr Philemon Mahuma, a senior medical officer, said the CEO has "brought a breath of fresh air to the hospital".
"With excellent people skills and a humanitarian heart, he has befriended and won the esteem of all levels of staff, contributing to the amazing results we are witnessing," Mahuma said.
"In addition to being an experienced clinician, his handyman skills and humility . surprised many of us.
"The building is 100 years old and Dr Soe inspects it and is able to fix it without private contractors."
Eunice Khoza, who has been working in the hospital's kiosk for seven years, said: "A lot has changed, the hospital is a human place."
The hospital is in one of 11 areas identified by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for the National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot project.
"If NHI comes here we are ready," said Soe.
The "non-negotiables" that Motsoaledi has said must be in place for NHI to work include cleanliness, good staff attitudes, infection control, decent infrastructure, equipment and medical supplies.
Motsoaledi last month advertised 90 CEO hospital posts to ensure that qualified medical and managerial staff are hired to run hospitals.
Soe, who is acting in his position, is hoping for a permanent position.
Health Department spokesman Fidel Hadebe said Soe is "a shining example of how things can be turned around by good management".