by Elfas Torerai
While other public-private partnerships fail to yield desired results, that of North West health department and BroadReach Healthcare is making a big difference for people in the province, particularly HIV patients.
The partnership was forged by the late deputy health minister, Dr Molefi Sefularo, who was health MEC from 2004 to 2005.
BroadReach is an international healthcare services and management company that has a specific focus on large-scale public healthcare solutions.
The company has assisted in the expansion of the Tshepong wellness centre, to help HIV patients in the Matlosana area get more attention and improved care.
The expansion cost R6m and includes a new computerised and centralised pharmacy for the hospital, an expanded waiting area for patients, and double the amount of consultation and counselling rooms.
Government requested BroadReach to help out in 2009, after the existing infrastructure became overburdened by the growing number of people needing antiretroviral treatment.
BroadReach representative Wendy Townsend told The New Age: “BroadReach set up base at Tshepong/Klerksdorp. We are helping to reduce the burden of overstretched resources in government, to make sure people get the best in terms of healthcare.
“In the North West, we have started a partnership with the health department on the private sector General Practitioner (GP) Programme.
“Under this new initiative, government patients are referred to private GPs and the department decides on the fee to pay.
“This is a true example of healthcare ownership by government for its people.
“In Klerksdorp, where the programme started, we have about 18 GPs and 1 500 patients in the current term.
“The programme has been so successful the department has asked BroadReach to expand its programme to Potchefstroom and Mafikeng.
Read the ~ufull story in the New Age#www.thenewage.co.za/14340-1017-53-Publicprivate_HIV_project_shows_its_worth~