On Friday, 29 April 2022, Western Cape Government Health and Wellness hosted its first External Health Indaba with stakeholder representation from the private sector, statutory bodies, universities, civil society, political parties, and other government departments.
The External Indaba is an important step in seeking intersectoral collaboration from government departments and all stakeholders to work towards a healthier Western Cape where health is everybody’s business.
The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on the health system and service delivery, as well as the social determinants of health. However, it also emphasised the important role volunteers and community-based organisations play in supporting the health system, and it built a sense of connectedness, collaboration and collective resilience. The pandemic has provoked innovative response, which could ultimately help to resolve pre-existing problems in our health system.
“We are now on the move to start rebuilding the province and commit ourselves to WoGA, underpinned by greater policy coherence across departments with sound policy decisions and coherent actions. My overarching goal is to have a health system that is people-centric, trusted and equitable; a system that is built on a caring, competent and empowered workforce, clean governance, innovation, and accessible service delivery. The goal is to have a health system for everyone,” says Western Cape Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.
As we rebuild our health system after the pandemic, we are committed to a whole of government approach (WoGA) underpinned by improved policy decisions that is supported by our actions across departments. This means that health is everybody’s business as a healthier province depends on intersectoral action to address the social determinants of health.
“With the Indaba we aim to share and test our thinking as a department and our strategic direction for the provincial health system with participants. To move to a healthier Western Cape, we need to build a shared understanding of what it means to be people-centric and collaborative in how health services are delivered, how the health system is governed, and how we create a healthy public policy,” says Head of Western Cape Health and Wellness, Dr Keith Cloete.
The outcomes of the External Indaba will be used to drive Western Cape Government Health and Wellness’ reset agenda on how we can work more collaboratively with private sector, higher education institutes and other government departments. It will also help the Department to understand which steps we need to take to do things differently to ensure collaborative service delivery, collaborative governance, and collaborative healthy public policy.