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KZN gets a health boost

Written by Noluthando Mkhize
The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health has spent R25 million refurbishing the Usuthu Clinic to bring health services closer to the community of KwaNongoma in the north of the province.

This forms part of the department’s preparations for National Health Insurance (NHI). The NHI aims to provide quality, affordable personal health services to all South Africans.KZN Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo and King Goodwill Zwelithini during the opening of a 24-hour clinic for the community of KwaNongoma.

The clinic is part of the 203 primary health care facilities that are part of the Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance (ICRM) programme, which ensures that health care facilities are upgraded in preparation for the NHI.

KZN MEC for Health Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the facility was initially built in 1968 but it had to be rebuilt earlier this year to increase its size and services.

The new 24-hour clinic will service close to 12 000 citizens and offers reproductive health and family planning, pregnancy management, adolescent and youth-friendly services, HIV and Aids as well as sexually transmitted infections management, cervical screening, and oral care, amongst other services.

A doctor from Benedictine Hospital will visit the clinic twice a month.

The clinic also has three mobile points for areas that are hard to reach and is supported by the Health System Trust, an NGO that visits once a month to help with antiretroviral medication initiation and Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV management.

MEC Dhlomo said his department was working hard to ensure that state clinics in KZN reach the required status of being Ideal Clinics.

During his budget vote speech earlier this year, MEC Dhlomo said his department will be investing resources to ensure that primary health clinics and hospitals are progressively enrolled into the eHealth System known as the Health Patient Registration System (HPRS).

He added that 578 HPRS-programmed computers and 127 printers have been installed at all NHI pilot districts. Full network connectivity has been achieved.

“By end of the 2016/17 financial year, we will also install an additional 1 661 HPRS-programmed computers and 250 printers in 257 primary health clinics at eThekwini, uThungulu, uThukela and Ugu Districts.”

Fast Fact: The new Usuthu Clinic will service close to 12 000 citizens.