KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu wants installation of an electronic filing system fast-tracked; says it will help reduce waiting times at hospitals and clinics

30 May 2019

Newly-appointed KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu wants an electronic filing system to be installed at health facilities across the province, so that patients do not wait on benches for a long time before they receive medical attention.

During an unannounced visit to Northdale Hospital in her second day of work this morning, the MEC expressed her disquiet about how patient records are kept.

“When you walk around the hospital you realise that the institution is slightly old, which might need renovations here and there. I will be getting a briefing from the acting HOD, on what the plans are for this institution. The one thing that concerns me is the issue of admissions"

“We are still on paper admissions, and when you look at how the system is actually done, it’s not convincing that we were able to deal with it thoroughly. Of course, the Department had tried in the past two years to put in a new IT system, and there were challenges. So, we are going to have a proper briefing in relation to that and see what else can be done.

“In this day and age, one of the things we need to be able to do better is to move towards a paperless society because it’s much quicker. And it makes things much better rather than to have a clustered room full of papers. We are going to work on that.”

The MEC vowed that she’ll be making more surprise visits at health facilities, especially those that she has received complaints about

“This was my first visit as a member of the executive, in my second day at work. I will be doing a number of visits in hospitals and clinics. We will be having drive-throughs from time to time, depending on where we are, and what we are doing.”

When asked about the lack of certain resources at Northdale Hospital – including beds and staff - which sometimes lead to congestion, the MEC said: “I will go back to the Department, sit down with management and see what plan we have. What I do know is that the Department has serious challenges when it comes to finances. We are unable at any point to take a decision to extend the hospital or build another one, so you need to creatively work with what you have. We will go back with management and work on what the problem is, and find other ways of assisting.”

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This page last edited on 30 May, 2019

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