Eastern Cape doctors working together to combat challenges

At an inaugural EC Medics gala dinner on November 19, a strong collective of medical professionals and businesses across private and public sectors pledged to work together to address challenges in the provincial healthcare sector.

South African Medical Association Border coastal branch chair Dr Luvuyo Bayeni said the evening had been arranged by a group of concerned doctors who believed the future of provincial healthcare relied on collaboration between the state, medical professionals and the private sector.

Bayeni said “as SAMA we fully support this because we want unity to prevail so that we all work together to address healthcare challenges.

“One of the critical issues in public health is human resources because the department has an urge to offer quality care, but there is a limitation due to staff shortages that impacts this. Resource management as well is an issue, because we have noted  there are pockets where resources can be better managed ands it’s not always about pumping in money — it’s about making sure we use what we have properly.

“Quality care is a challenge. We need to revisit the basics because rising legal claims in the public sector cripple the funding available to public hospital as the claims come in the middle of the financial year, thus eating a dent into how services are rendered.

“At hospitals they are trying to introduce lean management to better utilise consumables but processes of procurement pose a challenge because best quote practice for cost saving doesn’t provide the greatest quality. Healthcare cannot be compromised, irrespective of budgetary constraints.”

One of the organisers, Dr Peri Mbandazayo, said “this event is important because we have seen with Covid that if we stay in silos we are not able to achieve much. But when we work together we are able to generate more solutions to big challenges.

“There is room to improve relations between the private and public sector because we need to share more of the expertise in the private sector with public hospitals. This means specialists from private hospitals need to share their skills. It is a social responsibility.

“This event is the first of its kind. It is about time that we come together, not to fight with government but to work with government.”

Businessmen and quantity surveyor Dr Thembi Matunga pledged R100,000 towards the event, saying “it is great to see doctors in the province getting together to address their common problems and we want to see them achieve and grow from strength to strength.”

Eastern Cape health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth is excited about working with a unified collective of medical professionals and hopes this will enable the province to maintain the response records achieved during Covid.

RECOGNISING LEADERS: The EC Medics inaugural dinner organisers receive their awards and token of appreciation. Picture: SUPPLIED

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