MEC Simelane-Zulu brings hope to hospital patients
December 18, 2019
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: EVERY month, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu and her senior management team – including at least five doctors, professional nurses, and finance, legal, computer science and HR experts - will spend a day lending a helping hand at each of the province’s busy hospitals.
During the first of such visits at Addington Hospital yesterday, MEC Simelane-Zulu said the brand-new Lul’isandla/Lend-A-Hand initiative would help improve service delivery capacity and client experience, while giving the Department’s key decision-makers a first-hand account of the realities faced by the public, as well as staff at public healthcare facilities.
The Department’s Management Committee, otherwise known as MANCO, has 21 members. It is made up of doctors, qualified professional nurses, and other highly-skilled professionals, who have until now been largely office-based.
During every Lul'isandla visit, they will be dispatched to various sections of the hospital to render services in accordance with their training and qualifications.
Simelane-Zulu said: “The important thing about this programme is that all the skills of management are actually brought to the facility. Our goal is to ensure that when we leave, the challenges that we found should have been solved. For instance, when we arrived at Addington, we were told about challenges in relation to IT... that relate to the network, and functionality of the computers. When we left, those challenges had been solved... We came up with short and long-term solutions. That is what we want to achieve.
“These visits don’t necessarily have to be walkabouts, but are for us to get to the hospital and assist, because there are a number of challenges that our hospitals are faced with. Some are not of our own making, and as a result our facilities need outside assistance.”
The MEC said Addington Hospital was chosen due to increased foot traffic because of the peak holiday season.
“From here, we will be visiting one hospital per month. But we won’t be doing the same thing every time. It will depend on the identified realities and needs. Sometimes, when we go to one hospital and see that it needs painting, some of our MANCO member and ourselves we’ll do whatever that is needed to for that particular month.”
_Lul’isandla/Lend-A-Hand_ is the latest in a series of exciting and impactful innovations introduced by Simelane-Zulu.
The others include:
· Ongoing efforts to rationalise the allocation of Human Resources to optimise efficiency, while raising funds for the filling of vacant posts in order to achieve minimum staff establishment of 60% at healthcare facilities;
· #IsibhedlelaKubantu– Taking a comprehensive package of healthcare services to rural communities, to help those who live far from healthcare facilities – free of charge;
· Nqonqo: Sikhulekil’ eKhaya – A door-to-door type approach to healthcare service provision, whereby doctors, nurses and allied health workers descend on a community and attend to the needs of the sick and frail in their own backyard.
· The Department’s own e-health revolution, which will replace the old and inefficient paper-based filing and data-management system, with the modern, dynamic and infinite convenience of e-health.
· The establishment of a Directorate of legal experts who will be responsible for investigating every potential and actual medico-legal claim that is lodged against the Department. They will, among other things, advise the Department on the correct course of action to follow and the quantum of damages to be awarded where
· The distribution of contact details of hospital and district management. This ensures that any person who may be aggrieved, need assistance, or wish to pass a compliment is able to communicate easily with the Department.
· A mobile phone application (app). To be launched soon, this app will enable any patient or their next of kin to lodge compliments or complaints and receive feedback in real time. It will be managed by trained Departmental customer care staff.