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Dukwana shares plans on implementing NHI

By Libuseng Nyaka

QWAQWA- Following the approval of the National Health Insurance (NHI) by National Assembly on December 13 ,2023, Premier of Free State Mxolisi Dukwana has outlined plans hos province is making to ensure its implementation.

The NHI Bill seeks to provide universal access to health care services in the country in accordance with the National Health Insurance White Paper and the Constitution of South Africa.
The Bill envisages the establishment of a National Health Insurance Fund and sets out its powers, functions and governance structures. The fund will purchase health care services for all users who are registered with it.

“As we intensify the provision of quality healthcare, we will implement programmes to educate communities about the benefits of the National Health Insurance, increase clinic operating hours and embark on a programme of healthy lifestyles,” said Dukwana while during his State of Province address held in Qwaqwa where Mofumahadi Mopedi hospital is this area has been earmarked to pilot NHI.

He also shared efforts taken to curb high HIV/AIDS infections. “Our programme continues to benefit 313 589 Anti-Retroviral Therapy clients whilst 14 336 new clients were initiated on this therapy. A total of 98 percent of eligible antenatal clients were initiated on Antiretroviral therapy.

The success of this programme is evident in HIV infection of babies born of HIV-positive mothers, which dropped to 0.6 percent. Our promise of universal access to quality healthcare requires investment in good infrastructure to better respond to increasing healthcare demands.”
He said the fact that 189 out of 219 clinics obtained an ideal clinic status is something they are proud of.

“These are clinics with good infrastructure, adequate staff, adequate medicine and supplies, and good administrative processes.”
In terms of hospitals he said the following hospitals attained an ideal Hospital status as well: Parys Hospital , Botshabelo Hospital , JS Moroka Hospital , Universitas Academic Hospital , Phekolong Hospital and Senorita Nhlabathi Hospital.

“This ideal facility status is an essential part of our healthcare aspirations. More work is being done to embed this status in all our facilities. Delivery of quality healthcare requires adequate professionals. Between April and December 2023, an additional 245 Doctors, 218 Nurses, 65 Allied Professionals, 15 Pharmacists and 848 Non-clinical Staff were employed.”

FS premier Mxolisi Dukwana during Sopa at Phuthaditjhaba multi-purpose hall.

Adding that a further 61 doctors who have completed their community service will be appointed with effect from the 1 st of March.

Highlighting progress made in absorbing health professional health workers Dukwana said ,early in January this year, 217 medical interns and community service professionals that include Dieticians, Radiographers, Audiologists, Physiotherapists and Medical Practitioners assumed duty in various health facilities in our province.

“Use of technology solutions are now part of our healthcare provision. Last year in November we launched a digitisation project that entails a Bophelo Mobile App for ambulance requests, Electronic Recruitment System, Digitisation of Paper Records and Telemedicine. We procured an additional 46 renal equipment units, which will be deployed at all regional hospitals.”

Other strides made will be to ensure that patients are able to receive dialysis treatment closer to their places of residence. “Orthotic devices were issued to 6 518 people and 351 received medical prosthetic devices. A total of 4 798 cataract surgeries were performed.”