Gauteng Premier David Makhura has revealed how Gauteng health facilities stack up in his latest State of the Province Address. Delivered on 23 February 2014, this reviewed Gauteng’s progress on areas such as tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, the re-engineering of primary health care. Health-e reports that according to Makhura, the province has increased its TB cure rate to about 85%, or about one percent higher than the national target. He adds that the province has also tested more than 8m people for HIV and started almost 1m of these on antiretroviral therapy although he does not cite a time period for these figures. Makhura also notes that currently about 1% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers contract the virus from their mums.
Home to 375 primary health care facilities, Gauteng is the country’s best performing province when it comes to compliances with national core standards, according to Makhura. Makhura also cites improvement financial management since an administrator was assigned to the province in 2012 under section 18 of the Public Finance Management Act. Among these were improvements were faster payments to suppliers and the elimination of accruals.
Journalists have reported in Business Day, however, that they were escorted out of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital by security after CEO Dr Sandile Mfenyana refused to allow media to accompany the Public Service Commission (PSC) on its inspection of the hospital.
Despite several management changes, SA’s biggest hospital has battled to implement a successful turnaround strategy. Last week four officials at the hospital were reportedly suspended for leaving the body of an 18-year-old woman to decompose.
The Public Service Commission – a chapter 10 institution tasked with investigating, monitoring and evaluating service delivery by the government – invited the media for the inspection, saying the hospital was one of the four big hospitals, including Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, it would inspect.
The media asked to be allowed to walk side-by-side with the commissioners as they did the inspection in the interest of transparency. Mfenyana refused, saying the Gauteng Health Department policy did not allow the media to be part of an inspection as this would compromise patients’ privacy.
The Public Service Commission was unable to explain why it had invited the media if journalists were not allowed to observe the inspection. It said it would compile a report and brief the media after it had inspected all four hospitals.