R295m for healthcare unit

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

The Gauteng Health Department has set aside R295million to establish a unit to fast-track service delivery.

"We have created a caring and responsive system that will result in a healthy and productive province," Gauteng Health MEC Brian Hlongwa said last week.

He said the programme management unit would ensure the delivery of health services was of a good quality and met expectations.

Spokesman Zanele Mngadi said the unit would monitor the progress of some of the key programmes announced two months ago.

"We want to ensure deadlines set for those key programmes are met," she said.

Part of the unit's responsibility would be to encourage communities to live healthy lifestyles.

She said the unit would promote healthy living rather than relying on treatment and medication.

Communities would be given information on issues such as healthy eating habits, safe sex and stress management.

"More than 70percent of patients who visit our facilities suffer from preventable ailments.

"We have to give them correct information before they reach hospitals," Mngadi said.

She said more than 1000 community health workers would be appointed to spearhead the campaign.

"They will also conduct home visits to identify elderly people who should not be standing in queues for their medication.

"They will bring medication to them and advise them to visit hospitals only when they need to see a doctor," Mngadi said.

She said the department would also introduce a "smart card" to "streamline processes at hospitals and clinics, shorten queues and reduce waiting times".