During his State of the Province Address (SOPA) on 23rd February 2015, Gauteng Premier David Makhura said that eHealth systems are an important part of modernising public health services, and will therefore be prioritised by the provincial government.

During the address, Premier Makhura explained that the new Natalspruit Hospital is “our hospital of the future; a sign of things to come; an indication of what we mean by modernising healthcare.”

“We are proud to announce that in two hospitals, Zola-Jabulani and New Natalspruit, there are now eHealth programmes, which includes the introduction of an electronic patient record (EPR). This will reduce queues and improve the efficiency of our health facilities. We are also working towards rolling out this programme throughout the province,” continued Premier Makhura.

Premier Makhura added that he’s seen first-hand how many patients on a daily basis are required to wait in long queues to either collect medication or see a doctor.

“They told me that part for the reason they have to wait for long hours in queues was that the Hospital was using a manual filing system making it difficult to locate patient files with ease and speed. Some of the files were getting lost. Our eHealth programme will help us bring an end to this totally unacceptable state of affairs,” said Premier Makhura.

Premier Makhura also noted that new hospitals are planned for Soshanguve and Lilian Ngoyi, while six hospitals will undergo renovation, including Jubilee Hospital; Kalafong Hospital; Sebokeng Hospital; Yusuf Dadoo Hospital; Tambo Memorial Hospital; and Kayalami Hospital.

During inspections of Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko Academic hospitals on 25th February 2015, Gauteng Public Service Commissioner, Michael Seloane, noted that there was a need to fast track the migration of patient file management from manual filing to a digital filing system (e-filing).

“The advent of ICT is the direction we need to take in the near future because anything can happen when you keep documents manually. With ICT, there is back up,” said Seloane.

Seloane added that he was pleased that Premier Makhura mentioned in his SOPA that the eHealth system will be rolled out to all hospitals in the near future.

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