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South Africa: Chronic-Care System ‘to Transform Healthcare’
Source: Google Alert
Source Date: Monday, August 19, 2013
Focus: ICT for MDGs
Country: South Africa
Created: Aug 19, 2013

"We cannot have someone who presents on a Wednesday for hypertension come back on a Thursday to be seen for diabetes and yet come back again on a Friday to be treated for HIV," Ms Matsoso said.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Interacademy Medical Panel Conference on the Changing Patterns of Non-Communicable Diseases, she said the new system —
successfully piloted in the North West province, Mpumalanga and on Gauteng’s West Rand — would allow patients to receive treatment for a host of ailments and chronic diseases during a single session on a single day, rather than in multiple sessions on different days.
Ms Matsoso said the results of the pilot programme had given the department hope of integrating services and improving healthcare. "We have to ensure that our health system performs and we have to ensure that human resources in our health facilities are appropriately addressed, including training, recruitment and retention."
She also announced that the department was partnering with the World Health Organisation to assess its workforce in terms of its workload and skills base. She said the quality of services offered at 4,000 public sector health facilities had been audited and necessary corrective measures were being considered.
Ms Matsoso said that as part of the integrated chronic-care model, the department would be working with the private sector to assist patients to collect their medication. Instead of having to queue at state facilities on specified days, patients would be able to collect their medication from selected facilities and pharmacies.
Ms Matsoso said the department had finished mapping suitable facilities and pharmacies across South Africa.
South African Pharmacy Council CEO Amos Masango said yesterday the proposed integrated care model was good for patients. "If all the pharmacies in the country can be utilised to assist in the distribution of medicines, it is better — long queues can be reduced."
Mr Masango said there are 5,000 registered public and private sector pharmacies in South Africa.
Ms Matsoso said the department was now placing emphasis on evidence, and districts were being used as planning units.
"In each district, we can tell you what the burden of a disease is in that district, we can tell you what the socioeconomic indicators that need to be tracked are, we can tell you what the performance of the health system in each district is, and we can also tell you what the service delivery outputs are," she said.
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