The health sector derives its mandate from multiple policies that, among other things, outline its plan to tackle the broad and specific challenges engulfing the system. Ultimately health must seek to improve our national state of health.
A combination of these policies and financial inputs (budget allocated to the department annually), must result to concrete and fundamental change in this sector. The changes amongst other things must seek to improve the country’s current health issues such as HIV and TB but also, develop measures to safeguard against unexpected outbreaks. Such as the outbreak of listeriosis towards the end of 2017.
The hallmark of a successful public health system is an individual patients lived and perceived experiences during their care within public healthcare facilities. Patient experience is an integral part of quality health and is concerned with what the patient values when seeking or receiving services. Lately we have been seeing a decline in the professionalism of health professions and the decline of proper facilities in hospitals. We see surgeons having to operate with cell phone torches in the RK Khan hospital in Durban to name one of many issues plaguing our health system
A good and responsive public health system is one that can make services available when needed, instead of keeping patients on long waiting lists. Equally, patients need assurance that their prescribed medication will be available when needed, that their wards, bed linen and ablution facilities will be clean and safe from infections, and most importantly that healthcare professionals will treat them with respect and dignity.
Together we must take this opportunity, honourable members and hold government accountable to prioritise investment in more professional, skilled and trained health professionals. Further we must call for the upgrading of the facilities and make sure all hospitals have a minimum standard operating facility to, ensure that those most vulnerable citizens do not end up passing on or in worse condition after visiting any state provided health facilities.
Hospitals must be fully equipped with the adequate material and human resources that are needed to deal with the vast number of people needing health services. It is no use in saying that government provides health care, if people feel like they have the same chances of winning the lotto than receiving the needed health care on time.
The IFP supports this budget, so that these issues raised can be resolved with urgency