Taking healthcare

Taking healthcare

New Free State Health MEC Montsheng Tsiu is determined to address

the challenges facing the health sector in the province.

She aims to do this through the proper implementation of government’s re-engineering of the primary healthcare (PHC)

policy, which aims to increase access to and improve the quality of health services.

The re-engineering of PHC has four outputs: increasing life expectancy, decreasing maternal and child mortality, combating HIV and AIDS

and decreasing the burden of disease from tuberculosis (TB), and strengthening the effectiveness of the health system.

Conceived by the National Department of Health in 2010, the model for re-engineering South Africa’s

PHC landscape was subsequently adopted by provincial government.

MEC Tsiu said if the province gets the implementation model right, its healthcare system will be the best in the country.

 “If we implement it correctly, the department will ultimately not need a lot of money to deliver services.

If we help our people to prevent diseases, we will be able to save money for the department because when a person gets sick it increases the burden on the department to take care of that person,” she explained.

“If our residents are empowered to prevent diseases, we will have healthier residents who do not need to visit healthcare facilities often.

They will be able to go for check-ups while they are still healthy and infections will be picked up early, treated and controlled,” she added.

MEC Tsiu was appointed to the position in May this year and believes she is the right woman for the job because she has worked for the health department for over 30 years,

first as a professional nurse in primary healthcare and later as the provincial head of nursing.

Since day one, MEC Tsiu has emphasised the importance of taking primary healthcare to the people.

She said the department will be running campaigns across the province to promote preventative healthcare.

The MEC said high volumes of people visit the province’s health facilities.

 “We find that some of our facilities are too small to carry the number of patients that come through. However, they are not turned away.

We help everyone who comes to our facilities,” she added.

Core challenges Budget is one of the biggest factors contributing to many of the department’s challenges.

For this financial year, the department has a budget of R10.4 billion, which MEC Tsiu explained is inadequate.

She added that most of the money goes to salaries.

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