GEORGE Hospital in Eden District, Western Cape, is one of the best healthcare facilities in the province, and the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme's pilot project will be a success in the area.
This was said by head of the health department in the province Craig Househam during the opening of the Western Cape Health Foundation in Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town, yesterday.
The event was attended by about 100 people, who included health MEC Theuns Botha, business people and government officials.
The aim of the foundation is to strive for partnerships between the private and public sectors in a bid to improve the well-being of all people in the province.
Eden District is one of 10 districts that would roll-out the pilot project announced by Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi in March.
The launching of the project was the first phase of the 14-year roll-out plan of the NHI.
Last month Botha said although the Western Cape government did not support the green paper on the NHI in its current form, it supported the pilot project.
In his presentation, Househam said the NHI was a very ambitious project. "I am glad that Minister Motsoaledi chose the Eden District for the pilot project because George Hospital is one of the best hospitals in the province.
"Also, our teams of professionals including doctors and nurses will be strengthened to ensure that the project was a success. We want many people in the district to benefit from the project," Househam said.
Although there were also best home-based care facilities and staff in the district, it was of critical importance to increase the healthcare services in the whole province.
Househam strongly believes that health issues such as contraceptives and condoms need to be looked at by organisations, individuals and other stakeholders alike.
"We must also look at contraceptives and condoms for children and other people. We believe that many children are sexually active," he said.
He called for the partnerships between the private and public sectors to improve the healthcare system in the province, adding that the government, the private sector and other role players where important for the success of NHI.
Botha said in order to grow the economy and create many job opportunities, the country needed to invest in the health infrastructure.
He also said the Western Cape Health Foundation, which was formed early this year, was needed for the formation of strategic partnerships with the corporate sector.
"This means that through the private sector, the department will be able to undertake projects with the provincial government."