Focus on Women’s Month: Maternal Patient-Centred Care
In line with the focus on women’s strengths in August, the Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, today launched the Maternal Patient-Centred Care initiative at Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre (CHC) to address the mistreatment experienced by women in maternity services.
The Patient Centred-Maternity Care was implemented in order to highlight the problem of mistreatment faced by women in maternity services and to find solutions. It also focuses on the Western Cape Government Health’s commitment to patient-centred care as a fundamental principle 2030 strategy.
This problem of mistreatment was revealed in complaints received at the institutions and it relates to staff attitudes, but also health system factors such as staff stresses, high workload and inadequate infrastructure being major contributors. This resulted in a plan to develop a code of practice for Patient Centred Maternity Care at the Western Cape Government Health.
Patient and staff questionnaires were administered and the patient questionnaires are managed daily to acquire on-going feedback on patient experiences. The staff survey was also done to evaluate staff views and opinions of the PCMC and their working environment.
Part of the decision was that the Infrastructure and space should be sufficient to enable privacy, comfort, and to accommodate women for observations in early labour, as well as in active labour, and during delivery.
Minister Theuns Botha said: “The government is here today and has done something about this facility, it is buying new equipment and building new facilities. It is developing new programmes and taking new initiatives, as done here today”.
This initiative is also in line with the Western Cape Government Health’s (WCGH) Women's Health awareness campaign that will focus on the well-being of women. The communication campaign conveys that the improvement of women's health will benefit the entire population of the Western Cape, including children, through the reduction of maternal and child mortality rate, amongst others.
This benefits both the women, and the community, because of the centrality of women to the health of their families and communities. In the long term, improving the health of women enhances the productivity, social and economic participation and development of families. The campaign will run on radio, print and social media, including MXit, where we now have over 20 000 followers.