The quality of Gauteng's health care facilities is the best in the country, the provincial health department said on Friday.
We are very excited that our facilities have scored high," MEC Hope Papo said in reaction to the results of a national audit. "Improving the quality of care is an imperative on which we dare not fail."
The results of the audit were announced in the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town earlier this week.
Gauteng scored 69%
A year-long independent audit was conducted at all public health facilities, including clinics, community health centres and hospitals, in 2011.
The audit results of the health care facilities were presented as a percentage. In terms of quality, Gauteng scored 69%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 58%, and the Free State and Western Cape on 57%.
For infrastructure, Gauteng scored a rating of 70%.
The Steve Biko Academic Hospital, in Pretoria, scored 81 percent; the Dr George Mukhari Hospital, in GaRankuwa, scored 61 percent; and the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, 62 percent.
Auditors paid site visits to the various locations and assessed the range of services offered.
They looked at the conditions of buildings and medical equipment, the attitude of staff, and the cleanliness of the facilities, particularly the measures taken to control and protect against the spreading of infections. The availability of medicine was investigated, as were patients' experiences of their time at the facilities.
Papo said the audit showed state departments had an obligation to provide high quality patient care.
"The audit results are a clear indication that efforts need to be intensified."
Democratic Alliance Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom said he was "very puzzled" at the audit results. "Everyone knows that the Gauteng health department is in a crisis. The daily experience of patients is of long queues, long waits for operations and a shortage of medicines."
Bloom called on the department to make the data from the audit public. "It looks fishy to me," he said.