MEC for Health to convene a first Provincial Consultative Health Forum (PCHF)
10 Jun 2010
The health system is faced with numerous challenges that will need to be addressed in order to improve the delivery of service and ensure access to quality health care for all.
With a shared vision for better health outcomes, civil society and the health providers (public and private) are empowered to work together to improve the quality of health care in the province. Improving quality of care is an important goal to improve accessibility, utilisation and provision of available services. Quality of care initiatives alone, however, have often not been able to adequately address community perspectives and concerns, and face challenges in ensuring availability and access to quality services.
The PCHF offers a platform for improving the quality and accessibility of services whereby the citizenry is involved in defining, implementing and monitoring the quality improvement process. The PCHF involves civil society groups, including women, youth, people with disabilities, public and private health care providers, and other stakeholders working together to overcome the inadequacies of health services for the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
There is frequently a social distance chasm between health workers and the people they serve. Health workers are often accused of having negative attitudes towards the users of health care services and towards serving the elderly and people with disabilities.
Many barriers exist, preventing the citizens from obtaining adequate health information and access to care. Barriers include judgmental service providers, lack of confidentiality and inability to pay for services. Solutions to health facility deficiencies can be found beyond the health system. Remedies for service quality issues may rest within the users themselves, if they are engaged and empowered to share their views. The responsibility for better health goes beyond the health system. Individuals control their own health to some extent. A partnership process can involve the citizenry more fully in the endeavour for better health outcomes.
Government has prioritised two major areas that will be targeted for transformation and major intervention i.e. health and education. This government has committed itself to exercise strategic leadership and mobilisation of leadership structures of society and communities at large to attain better health outcomes. Together (government and society), they will communicate messages to promote policy and ensure “buy-in” of civil society and encourage them to support government health programmes.
In this regard, the MEC for Health is obliged by law (National Health Act; No.61 of 2003) to coordinate across different sectors to achieve improved health outcomes. This entails joint planning across relevant departments so as to attain common goals for better health outcomes.
A number of organisations and individuals have been invited to the forum; these include trade unions, women’s, youth and people with disability organisations, members of the legislature, municipalities, issue based organisations and others.
Journalists are invited to attend the Provincial Consultative Health Forum to be held as follows:
Date: 17 June 2010 (Thursday)
Venue: The Royal Agricultural Show grounds Olympia Hall, Pietermaritzburg
Opportunity for interviews and photos will be available. We request that journalists attending, for ease of registration, to RSVP to Ms D Naidoo at 033 395 2793 or fax to 033 394 1802/ 033 345 0114 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information contact:
Cell: 083 285 0567
Issued by: Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
10 June 2010
Issued by: KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
10 Jun 2010
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