Primary health care given a boost
8 Jul 2011
Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development, Ntombi Mekgwe has increased the budget allocation for district health service by more than a billion rand in the current financial year in line with the department’s objective to re-engineer services in clinics and smaller hospitals.
The department has allocated R7,014 billion to district health services which is an increase of 18% from the previous financial year’s allocation. The department has a total budget of R25,2 billion for the 2011/12 financial year.
The MEC also announced that 112 community services doctors have been placed in clinics and district hospitals this year to strengthen primary health care.
She said teams of specialists who will focus on maternal and child mortality will be deployed to districts. “In this regard, we are in the process of finalising appointments of Principal Obstetricians; Principal Paediatricians; Advanced midwives; and Senior Primary Care Nurses.
We have already appointed and deployed Principal Family Physicians to each of our districts. These specialists will be supported by fellow specialists from Universities, Tertiary and Regional hospitals,” she said.
The MEC said of the 35 Community Health Centres in Gauteng, 30 will operate for 24 hours in order to improve access to PHC services.
The measures announced will enable clinics to deal with an increasing demand for services. The number of visits to clinics has increased from 19 million in 2009/10 to 20 million in 2010/11.
In order to further strengthen Primary Health Care services, a new cadre of mid level worker, the Clinical Associate has been developed.
The department has also prioritised HIV and AIDS, TB, prevention and reduction of substance abuse, the availability of drugs, early childhood development as well as violence against women and children.
The transmission of HIV from mother to child has been reduced from 8% in 2009/10 to 2.3% in 2010/11 making Gauteng the leading province in this regard. R1.9 billion has been allocated to the HIV and AIDS programme to enable the department to increase the number of people on anti-retroviral treatment to 520 000 by March 2012.
The MEC said R82,851 million had been allocated for preventing and reducing substance abuse.
“Our collaboration with the Provincial Substance Abuse Forum and Local Drug Action Committees has helped us to determine the magnitude of the problem, to identify hotspots such as Soshanguve, Alra Park, Mamelodi, Diepsloot, Westbury, Katlehong and Reiger Park and target those groups which are mostly vulnerable to addiction,” she said.
The department aimed to work with men’s organisation to prevent violence against women and children.
Twenty four homes for survivors of crime and violence will receive funding in this financial year. Women in these shelters will be linked to economic empowerment opportunities in order to increase their self reliance.
Homes for elderly people have also been given priority. “We have prioritised those homes with poor infrastructure, and those which are heavily dependent on the department for funding,” the MEC said.
She said the Gauteng Older Persons Forum will be strengthened for it to be able to advocate effectively for the rights of older persons. Enquiries:
Cell: 082 551 9892
Issued by: Gauteng Health
8 Jul 2011
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