SA healthcare audit ‘well under way’

7 November 2011

An audit of South Africa’s health facilities is well under way ahead of the planned launch of National Health Insurance (NHI) pilot sites, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said last week.

He said the department was auditing infrastructure and financial management structures and was doing a head count of health workers in every facility.

“We are still doing this audit on health facilities,” Motsoaledi told reporters in Cape Town. “We are even auditing the headcount of health workers in every health facility.”

Motsoaledi was speaking after receiving a report on health data from the Health Data Advisory and Co-ordination Committee (HDACC), which was appointed by the department last year to improve the accuracy of the country’s health data.

He said at the last count, about 2 800 institutions out of 4 200 public health institutions had been audited.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said about R500-million is expected to be set aside in the 2012 budget to fund pilot sites for the NHI. Gordhan said the pilots would form the first part of a 14-year programme to introduce the NHI system.

Part of the first phase would also involve revitalising hospitals, improving nursing and getting the public health system to provide a more caring environment

At Thursday’s briefing, HDACC deputy chairwoman Debbie Bradshaw told Motsoaledi that the proportion of HIV-positive pregnant women on antiretroviral therapy was at 22 percent, and had to be increased.

“We would like that to increase to 80 percent of women on treatment,” Bradshaw said.

Bradhsaw recommended that HIV monitoring focus on women between 15 and 49 years old, using data from the department’s antenatal survey.

The mother-to-child transmission rates also a key indicator that had to be targeted in the HIV/Aids epidemic, she said.

A report by the committee says the total number of patients receiving antiretroviral treatment in 2009 was 1.1-million. The target for 2014 was 2.5-million.