Statement on World Health Day | Western Cape Government


Statement on World Health Day

6 April 2006
"This year's theme for World Health Day, 'Working together for health', highlights the critical role played by our health workers, and the importance of working together to achieve the best outcomes for our patients ", Minister Uys said at a gathering of health workers in George.

"Health workers are the heartbeat of health care in our province. They are the men and women who fulfil their duties selflessly, often under difficult circumstances", Uys said. These workers include dentists, nurses and midwives, pharmacists, home-based carers, technicians,cooks,cleaners and the whole spectrum of health workers.

With reference to the shortage of health workers in the Western Cape and the tremendous pressure under which health workers have to cope, Minister Uys said his department focuses on all health care workers, the challenges they face on a day-to-day basis, and the need for management to understand, support and address their concerns. Some of the steps that are being taken include:

  • filling vacant positions, where possible;
  • training more health workers;
  • providing more bursaries;
  • expanding support structures such as home-based care;
  • providing scarce skills allowances and other incentives; and
  • creating better work environments through revitalisation and maintenance programmes.

"Furthermore it is important that the broader community shows more appreciation for our health workers, and does not take them for granted", Uys said.

"The role that our health workers play in rendering an accessible, sustainable, quality and cost-effective health service is critical for the well-being of the people of the Western Cape. A healthy province is a happy province ", he said.

Health facilities across the province will celebrate World Health Day on 7 April. Open days are planned at all facilities, and communities will be invited to come and see for themselves what a day in the life of a health worker entails by taking them through the whole service spectrum, from when patients come through the security gates until the time they collect their medication and leave.

"With the support of our health care workers, volunteers, community workers, health forums and home-based carers, we will be able to render the quality services that are expected from us", Uys said.

"The Western Cape government is proud of its health care workers, and will do everything in its power to support them in rendering their crucial service. We appreciate your dedication; all of you truly do make a difference ", Uys said.

On World Health Day Minister Uys and Prof. Craig Househam, Head of Department of Health, Western Cape, will address health workers in George in the Banquet hall of the municipality at 11h00.

Issued by:
The Directorate Communications
Office of the Superintendent of Health, Western Cape
Department of Health
Herman van der Westhuizen
Media Liaison Officer to the Minister of Health
Tel: 021 483 2627

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