TO: ALL MEDIA
DATE: 01 JANUARY 2012
EMBARGO: 01 JANUARY; 10H00
Media Statement : KZN Health MEC outlines the 2012 resolutions for his departmentToday; the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo visited Stanger
Hospital to welcome New Year babies and thanked all healthcare workers for a
successful year in 2011. He then wished the healthcare workers all the best in
the New Year and set priorities for the New Year, 2012.
MEC Dhlomo said; “The New year will be ground-breaking in that we will be
introducing the long awaited National Health Insurance (NHI).” The MEC went
further to outline that the key priority in this regard will be to ensure that;
(i) the Department fast-tracks the infrastructure development and hospital
revitalisation projects, (ii) Districts have social mobilisation and
communication plans to popularise the NHI at community levels, (iii) scale up
the ‘Make Me Look like a Hospital’ project in all hospitals and not only those
where the NHI will be piloted, and (iv) to fast track the strengthening of
hospital management programme.
The National Minister had started a programme where all hospital managers were
assessed for suitability in terms of skills, knowledge and qualifications.
Hospitals were also categorised into clear categories (i.e. levels of care) with
minimum requirements set for people to manage each category. The assessment
reports were sent to individual managers and the Head of Departments to manage
the placement of those who were found not to meet the required criterion.
The MEC continued; “We live in a province where the quadruple burden of disease
is most pronounced. We will continue to focus on programmes that seek to change
this unfortunate situation.” In this regard, says the MEC, we will finalise the
strengthening of the school health programme by employing and placing
appropriately qualified nurses throughout the Province. We also roll out the
Five Point Contraceptive (family planning) Strategy that was launched by the
Premier in October last year, he added.
“We will also introduce District Obstetric Mentor Teams to ensure that we
improve on maternal outcomes. In the same token we want to eliminate mother to
child transmission of HIV so that no child born to an HIV positive mother
acquires the virus.” The province was heralded by the world for the successful
reduction of mother to child transmission of HIV from 21% five years ago to a
mere 2, 3% in 2011.
He also announced that the Department will scale up and introduce the Medical
Male Circumcision (MMC) campaign in the private sector. Other HIV related
programmes would be to intensify the campaign in high risk groups such as long
distance truckers and taxi drivers as well farm workers. The Department will
provide HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT) sites at taxi ranks and increase
wellness centres along the major routes to improve access for taxi drivers and
The MEC further announced that he would continue with a campaign to highlight
the dangers of cross generation sex which leads to high teenage pregnancies and
the acquisition of HIV by young girls, as young as 13 years of age. The
department has already put up billboards throughout the province warning against
“I will continue to work with my colleagues to promote the benefits of healthy
lifestyles. The other area of concern is the high incidence of violence and
trauma which is usually seen by the high road fatalities and trauma cases during
peak seasons. As we announced in December, we will seek to train taxi drivers
and members of communities in basic first aid and life support skills so that
they can help people before the arrival of emergency medical personnel,”
continued the MEC.
The MEC concluded by making a call to all health care workers to join him ‘on a
journey of reaffirmation, remembrance, reform, and revitalization’. “As we begin
the New Year, 2012, let us be reminded that we need sufficiently skilled,
professional, motivated and well-supported healthcare workers who are the
bedrock of a healthy nation. Let us therefore work together for A long and
Healthy Life for all South Africans.”
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: KWAZULU-NATAL
083 447 2869
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