Private sector Health Indaba - Health is everybody’s business
On Friday, 18 November 2022, Minister Nomafrench Mbombo, Provincial Minister of Health and Wellness, hosted a Health Indaba with stakeholders from the private sector. The Indaba was aimed at cracking the code for collaboration between the private sector and the department, with a focus on putting the patient first.
During the proceedings, the Department of Health and Wellness reflected on:
- what transpired during the COVID-19 pandemic,
- how it impacted on current partnerships and
- how to overcome the challenges created by the pandemic.
The day was all about sharing the Department’s reset strategy, post-Covid as well as the service redesign. The Head of the Department, Dr Keith Cloete stated that “one thing is certain, that we, as a Department, will not be able to do this on our own.”
The objective of the engagement is to ensure that we “leave no one behind, as health is everybody’s business,” says Minister Mbombo. Central to the discussions on the day was the patient and services rendered to them, “putting the patient at the center of what we collectively want to achieve means we are on the right track”, Mbombo highlighted.
Many of the private sector stakeholders indicated during the breakaway commissions that COVID-19 “cracked the code for collaboration”. This was essential to the Department realising that it cannot do everything on its own and the power of the spirit of ubuntu which eloquently captures collaboration between public and private sector.
One of the most crucial topics that was open for discussion, is that of sharing of patient data across these sectors which will enhance the health system. The reality is that many state patients also attend their general practitioners or access private pharmacies for services. An integrated system for both sectors would enhance the patient experience and care across both public and private sector.
Dr Nicolas Crisp the Director General of the National Department of Health stated “the aim is to have universal health coverage for everyone by 2030.” The question therefore is how we work together as public and private sector, in order to maximize the capabilities of both sectors, with the goal of rendering quality healthcare services to all persons. “We need to try and achieve a more coherent national system”, says Dr Crisp.
Minister Mbombo, during her expression of appreciation, also took the opportunity to handover a certificate of clean audit and thanked the Department for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the best possible service is rendered to our communities. She said, “I am proud to say that the Western Cape department of health is the only health department to receive clean audits for four consecutive years”
Like the African proverb says, “if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together”.