Keynote address by Northern Cape MEC for Health Mr S Sokatsha on launch of upgraded kitchens
7 Aug 2009
The chairperson and members of the provincial portfolio committee on health
Acting head of Department of Health
Head of the Ministry and officials from the Department of Health
CEO and senior staff of Kimberley Hospital Complex
Manager and staff from West-End Hospital and the rehabilitation centre
Regional Director–FEDIX Food Services–Mr Jack Ferreira
Operations Director–FEDIX Food Services
Ms Rachelle Nagel
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good morning to all. Today we are here to celebrate another milestone in the improvement of health service delivery to our people. In the spirit of ‘Batho pele - People first’ and the vision of the Department of Health, we have realised and contributed to our vision of health service excellence for all.
Health is one of the five key priorities of the new government and the Department of Health will utilise its resources to deliver on the health mandate in terms of quality management systems, revitalisation and maintenance of our infrastructure and building new facilities.
The new government’s 10 point plan for the health sector will be the guiding light for the department in improving health service delivery to our people namely the provision of strategic leadership, implementation of the national health insurance plan, improving the quality of health services, improving human resource management, overhauling of the healthcare system and it’s management, revitalisation of health infrastructure, mass mobilisation for better health for all, reviewing the drug policy, research and development, the accelerated implementation of the HIV and Aids plan the reduction of mortality due to TB and associated diseases.
Revitalisation of health infrastructure as part of the 10 point plan is the focus of today. It is important for government to keep the balance between erecting new health infrastructure and maintaining already existing facilities and infrastructure. The Kimberley Hospital complex, the West-End Hospital and the rehab centre form the foundation of health service delivery in Kimberley and the province.
Patients accessing our health facilities are entitled to quality health care services. The Patient Rights Charter clearly spells out the rights of patients. It is our duty as government officials to know these rights and ensure we are able to identify our responsibility in ensuring that these rights are upheld.
I want to focus one of these rights namely that every patient is entitled to a healthy and safe environment. Every patient has the right to a healthy and safe environment that will ensure their physical and mental health or well-being, including adequate water supply, sanitation and waste disposal as well as protection from all forms of environmental danger, such as pollution, ecological degradation or infection.
The upgrading of the kitchens at the Kimberley Hospital complex, the West-End Hospital and the rehab centre was constituted by this right. Challenges faced by the infrastructure at these facilities included inadequate equipment like insufficient number of cutlery and crockery, food trolleys that were obsolete in that they are not maintaining food temperatures leading to risking food hygiene and the deterioration of food stock due to insufficient storage capacity.
Staffing at these facilities also posed a challenge in that most staff was not skilled. No training plan to skill and capacitate staff on a continuous basis was in place, staff was not identifiable and without professional appearance and the number of staff was insufficient to deliver a proper service.
Service was also centralised in the sense that all food was cooked at Kimberley Hospital Complex and transported to other facilities, no proper contract and service level agreement existed and no integration between our control systems and the service providers’ control systems existed.
The process for the procurement of the necessary equipment was started in 2008 and resulted in a plated food service by 1 July 2009. The cost of equipment amounted to R3, 5 million and a further R200 000 was spend on minor renovations to the kitchen areas.
We have strengthened the quality of service by increasing the staff component from 53 staff members to 189 staff members. We have integrated our control systems with the ones of the service provider in verifying all cost on daily basis thus improving our controls.
We have fully equipped and put to use the kitchens at West End Hospital and the rehab centre. The cost of food per patient per day has been decreased from R57 per patient per day to R53 per patient per day.
All patients and wards have now got access to kitchen services 24 hours, seven days a week, 365 days per year. All kitchen areas in the West End Hospital and rehab centre are fully equipped and functional 24 hours, seven days a week, decentralising food services to be closer to a patient bed.
The delivery of basic, essential and quality health services in a safe and healthy environment to all communities in the Northern Cape remains a challenge, but the department will continue to utilise all resources available to improve service delivery to all and create a better life for all. ‘Batho pele-People first’, the Constitution and the Patients Charter will be our guiding documents to delivery on our mandate and ensure quality health service excellence to all.
Issued by: Northern Cape Health
7 Aug 2009
[ Top ]