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Gauteng Health yields positive results
Pretoria – The Gauteng Department of Health’s efforts to improve the quality of health care for all South Africans has yielded positive results in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The department announced on Wednesday that during the period April to June 2013, bursaries totalling R45 384 million were awarded by the department to those who wanted to study courses in the health field. Highly skilled health care workers were also recruited during the period.

“Currently, the department has 4 161 bursary holders for both full-time and part-time students. There are 106 students studying medicine in Cuba and upon their return, they will be placed in various public health facilities in the province.

“A total of 396 contracts for Basic Pharmacy Assistants learners have been signed and they will be trained with the Health Science Academy. Out of the 396 241 have already commenced with formal training,” the department said.

The department has also placed 19 Clinical Technology Interns in specialised areas like neurology, cardiology and pulmonary thoracic surgical units at academic hospitals. Six Medical Orthotic and Prosthetic interns were placed at Tambo Memorial Hospital.

Also during this period, 41 Clinical Associates at all year levels were awarded bursaries. Thirteen completed the course and have been placed at various district hospitals.

During the quarter under review, there were 18 new appointments for people with disabilities.

In an effort to improve ambulance availability and improve response times, a total of 120 ambulances are expected before the end of the year and out of these, 40 have been delivered and are being converted.

The department further noted improvements in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV, with only 3.2% of babies born to HIV positive mothers testing positive at the age of six weeks.

A total of 171 199 high risk groups benefitted from peer education, while ward-based education initiatives reached more than 1.8 million Gauteng residents.

Efforts to reduce maternal mortality are also bearing fruit. The number of expectant mothers presenting at ante-natal clinics has increased from 37.3% to 39.6%. Educational campaigns encouraging mothers to book early are continuing.

“The TB cure rate is at 85.2% and defaulter rate slightly decreased from 4.8% to 4.7%. Community Health Workers continue to conduct home visits and provide psychological support to patients who default as well as encourage others to finish treatment.”

To strengthen primary health care, the department said it has established District Health Specialist Teams in five districts. Eighteen ward based outreach teams were also formed, bringing the total number of outreach teams to 67.

The department attributed these to it turnaround strategy for 2012-2014, which aims to improve health care in the province.

Department spokesperson Simon Zwane said the department will continue implementing initiatives to better the lives of the people of Gauteng.

“We are hopeful that the department’s efforts to improve the quality of health care will ensure an efficient and effective health system,” Zwane said. –

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