Thursday, 09 February 2023
GQEBERHA – The devastating floods that have wreaked havoc in Komani have highlighted the urgent need for tight collaborations between private and public healthcare sector as well as the urgent need for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) without any delays for the equal benefit of all patients.
The floods have displaced thousands of people and cut off many people from the basic services such as healthcare in many areas as bridges have been left demolished.
Queenstown Private Hospital was flooded, which forced the facility to transfer its patients to Frontier Hospital, the nearest public hospital in the area. The major challenge out of this is that Frontier Hospital itself is faced with a perennial challenge of loadshedding and water shortage.
The disaster has highlighted the essence of the need for close collaborations between private sector healthcare and public sector healthcare, because such partnership will serve the needs of the vulnerable patients the best. The challenge of power supply and water shortage in the public facility could surely come to be resolved while access to healthcare services and better patient management systems and controls and skilled healthcare personnel could be of benefit to the private sector healthcare.
What the floods have highlighted, which was also highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, is that perhaps the National Health Insurance (NHI), which will essentially give equal access to all facilities for patients regardless of their socio-economic standing, will be the necessary equalizer of access to facilities by the communities.
The current two healthcare systems have a way of placing patients in silos with very limited access to the other system even in the presence of help on the other side which may not be readily available where the patient is at a particular moment.
DENOSA Eastern Cape hopes that the President, in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) tonight, will give more focus on the implementation of the NHI as means to access to quality healthcare by all South Africans, especially those in rural provinces like the Eastern Cape.
On matters around NHI, DENOSA Eastern Cape is particularly interested in the plans to improve the facilities in terms of resources and infrastructure outlook, so that they could be in a better position to be certified by the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC), so they be able to offer NHI services for patients.
Considering the unreliability of back-up generator systems in the healthcare facilities, DENOSA Eastern Cape reiterates its call for healthcare facilities to be exempt from load-shedding as a matter of urgency as optimal healthcare services is no longer rendered to patients in these facilities.
Issued by DENOSA in Eastern Cape.
For more information, contact:
Veli Sinqana, DENOSA Provincial Secretary.
Mobile: 072 432 8226
Sivuyile Mange, DENOSA Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson.
Mobile: 072 575 5136