NHI pilot project to boost ailing system
TWENTY-FIVE clinics around Pretoria will be renovated as part of the National Health Insurance pilot plan.
Last month, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that 10 districts, including Pretoria, would roll-out the pilot project.
The launching of the project was the first phase of the 14-year roll-out plan of the NHI.
Over the next five years the department would add more districts to the selected 10, the minister said.
Gauteng MEC for health Ntombi Mekgwe yesterday announced that R31.5-million has been allocated to the pilot project in the province.
"As province we have decided on a phased approach to implementing the pilot project, targeting as large a population as possible in the district," Mekgwe said.
The first phase will be implemented in Themba, Jubilee and Kekana Gardens n and Laudium, Atteridgeville and the inner city.
"Together these sub-districts have a combined population of 848199, which is 31% of the population of Tshwane district. Roll-out to the rest of the district will be increased over a three-year period," Mekgwe said.
The department had already started making preparations for the NHI implementation in 2010.
"From that period to date we have set up the quality assurance unit and the provincial office of standard compliance," Mekgwe explained.
"The office has an inspectorate that comprises nurses, environmental officers, medical technologists and retired nurses. They monitor infection controls, cleanliness, staff attitudes, patient safety and availability and waiting times in line with the NHI norms and standards."
The unit has conducted self-assessment exercises to test compliance.
Mekgwe said seven primary healthcare teams had been established and 22 school-based teams had also been formed to cater for 521 schools.
"We are in the process of appointing district clinical specialist support teams that will work hand in hand with the teams I have mentioned, which include an obstetrician, family physician, paediatrician, a anaesthetist, midwife and paediatric nurse."
She said her department was in the process of clearing debt.
"Our plan has always been to pay all old accruals dating back to 2006-07 financial year by March 2012, and settle all debts incurred in the 2011 financial year by June 2012."
The department had paid nearly R2-billion in debts by March.
"We have now entered the second phase of our plan. In this phase we will be paying all suppliers to whom we owe less (than) R1-million this month, followed by those we owe less than R100-million in May and those we (owe) more than R100-million in June.
"The provincial government has made available to us R1.5-billion to finance the second round of payments. The department shall use a total amount of R870-million to pay medical suppliers."