Delegation concerned over slow facilities integration

A DELEGATION that spent a day in KwaZulu-Natal health and medical facilities, earmarked for 2010 Fifa World Cup, expressed concern at the lack of integration between municipal and provincial health services.

Deputy minister of health Molefi Sefularo, provincial MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, LOC medical head Victor Ramathesele, representatives from national and provincial 2010 coordinating teams, hospital managers and emergency medical services inspected four facilities designated for the 2010 Fifa World Cup yesterday.

The purpose of the visit was to inspect all health and medical facilities to be used during the World Cup.

They were also to assess the facilities' readiness to deliver on country's commitments in emergency medical services, hospital services, port and environmental health and communicable disease control.

The assessment is in preparation for the eminent Fifa delegation set to be in the province on Wednesday.

The delegation will inspect all World Cup designated facilities and services, as part of the activities to mark the 100 Day Countdown before the event.

Sefuralo said it was their responsibility to ensure that visitors during the Cup find health services adequate and responsive to their needs, which involve providing 24-hour emergency medical services at the ports of entry and major travel routes.

Their programme started with a visit at Wentworth Emergency Medical Services, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital, Addington Hospital, and inspection of medical centres at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Sefuralo said they identified minor delays here and there.

"We are concerned about the slow pace of the integration of municipal and provincial health services. We know that municipal clinics close at 17h00 and do not open during weekends. That cannot work for the World Cup and for our people in general."