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23 April 2012

Tshwane ready for NHI implementation

Tshwane is ready for implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme pilot phase, Gauteng health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe has said.

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Tshwane is ready for implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme pilot phase, Gauteng health MEC Ntombi Mekgwe has said.

"The [health] department has been allocated a NHI conditional grant of R31.5 million for the 2012/13 financial year for implementation," she said. "As a province we have decided on a phased approach to implement the pilot project, targeting as large a population as possible within the district. In this regard coverage will focus on both the urban and rural mix, especially the most vulnerable."

How it will work

Mekgwe said the first phase of implementation would include several clinics in sub-districts two and three.

"Together these sub-districts have a combined population of 848,199 which is 31 percent of the population of Tshwane district. Roll-out to the rest of the district will be incremental over a three-year period."

She said the department had set up a quality assurance unit and a provincial office of standard compliance. The latter had an inspectorate which included nurses, environmental officers, medical technologists and retired nurses who monitored infection control, cleanliness, staff attitudes, patient safety and waiting times.

"The quality assurance unit has conducted self-assessment exercises to test the compliance of all facilities in the province with these norms and standards," Mekgwe said.

"Training was also provided to quality assurance teams in all facilities throughout the province."

The department was busy appointing "district clinical specialist support teams" who would work with the clinics involved in the roll-out.

All debts being cleared

The teams would comprise of an obstetrician, a family physician, a paediatrician, an anaesthetist, an advanced midwife, a clinically trained nurse, and a paediatric nurse.

She further said the Gauteng department was clearing all debts it owed to suppliers and service providers.

"In March we completed the first phase of our payment plan. We used R670m made available to us in November by the provincial treasury, and a further R1 billion made available in February, to service the debts according to our plan.

"We have now entered into the second phase of our plan. In this phase we will be paying all suppliers to whom we owe less R1m this month, followed by those we owe less than R100m in May, and those we over a R100m in June."

A total of 2604 suppliers were owed less than R1m each. They included non-governmental organisations, waste removal companies, and suppliers of fuel, among others.

"An instruction to release R 259m to all these suppliers was issued on Friday and suppliers should have the money in the bank accounts in the coming week."  - (Sapa, April 2012)

Read more:
NHI proposals 101

 
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