Mpilo - an app for Gauteng patients

18 September 2019 - 09:23
By Yoliswa Sobuwa
Healthcare perfection is now in your hands
Healthcare perfection is now in your hands

Gauteng residents using public health facilities will now be able to report bad treatment and service from hospital staff on their mobile phones.

The Gauteng department of health launched a new digital platform called Mpilo - Healthcare in your hands, a mobile app which is aimed at improving the patient experience at public healthcare facilities.

This is expected to help improve service delivery and enable the department to respond to concerns timeously.

Department's spokesperson Philani Mhlungu said the app will provide a smart and interactive platform for users to report waiting times in facilities, safety issues, staff attitudes and cleanliness of facilities, among others.

"Patients will no longer have to wait to report their grievances as they can do that using the tip of their fingers. Each and every facility will have a quality assurance team that will attend to the complaints logged on the app. As soon as one logs the complaints, they will be able to see it immediately," Mhlungu said.

In the past, there has been complaints about public healthcare facilities where patients had to wait for long hours before being attended to.

Mhlungu said the app will speed up resolution of complaints at healthcare facilities.

"The complaints will be categorised in terms of their severity and some of the complaints will be attended to on the spot. The platform also allows for users to share compliments and suggestions," Mhlungu said.

The Mpilo app has a geo-location feature that helps users find the nearest health facility and it is available on both Android and IOS.

Additional functionality, using USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) codes, will be introduced to accommodate users without smartphones.

In his first 100 days in office, MEC Bandile Masuku mentioned that the bigger challenge faced by the department was the shortage of staff members, which had impacted on staff morale.

Masuku said they want to improve the patient experience in the facilities in terms of waiting times and getting treatment. "With this app we want to drive the complaints traffic away from fake news and reduce the vulnerability of patients' rights and the breach of medical ethics," Masuku said.

Patients can also comment about the state of a health facility.