PREVENT: Acting general manager for HIV-Aids Miyakazi Nokwe explains the plan. Picture: SITHANDIWE VELAPHI
The or Tambo district municipality is ready for the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) after being chosen by the national Department of Health as the only pilot centre in the province.
The acting general manager for HIV-Aids in the health department, Miyakazi Nokwe, said the district’s primary focus was on revitalisation of hospitals in the district.
The OR Tambo district, one of the biggest regions in terms of population in the province, is experiencing the challenge of a shortage of healthcare workers.
Nokwe said there is a “master plan” in the NHI to fight the shortage of healthcare workers.
She said the NHI meant equity and access to healthcare when it was needed most.
Nokwe said the Nelson Mandela Academic, Mthatha General and St Mary’s hospitals in Mthatha, as well as Dr Malizo Mpehle in Tsolo, are the centres where the NHI scheme will be first rolled out.
The master plan, said Nokwe, contains the upgrading, revitalisation, cleanliness and acquiring of skilled doctors.
“We will also be in contact with private doctors to see what requisite skills we will be requiring from them.
“During the rollout of the NHI, we will have to change the way we offer our services.”
She said they will concentrate more on preventative measures rather than curative ones. “This does not mean prevention was neglected but now the NHI will require a special attention to the preventative measures.”
Nokwe said the national department had given the district R1m for the establishment of District Health Authorities tasked with ensuring the implementation of NHI in the area.
The district management is tasked with, among others, cleanliness of the pilot hospitals, going to communities for a brief about the NHI, the availability of drugs and resources during the rollout and after the rollout in 2014, and the primary healthcare focus.
Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi is expected to visit on June 17-19.