Mozambique and SA to sign health agreement

Senior health officers from South Africa and Mozambique will sign an agreement formalising the treatment of Mozambicans in health facilities along South Africa’s borders, it was announced on Wednesday.

The initiative was part of health department efforts to address Mozambican’s use of South African resources in those rural and underdeveloped areas, said health department spokesperson Charity Bhengu.

The agreement would take into account the daily movement of people across the countries’ borders and the hospitals affected would be identified.

So far, the Tonga District Hospital has been earmarked for referrals from Mozambique.

Health professionals would record the number of Mozambicans being treated and a patient referral system between the two countries would be established.

Mozambique would then be billed when their citizens were treated in South African facilities.

Both governments would plan the resources needed, including the allocation of additional staff to cope with the workload.

The signing ceremony is to be held at Tonga District Hospital, in Mpumalanga, near the Komatipoort border with Ressano Garcia on Thursday.

Bhengu said an implementation plan, detailing how the agreement would work, would be presented immediately after the agreement was signed.

The agreement follows a state visit earlier this year where the countries’ presidents identified health as an important area of co-operation.

An agreement on the cross-border combating of malaria was already in place, Bhengu said.

“Through this agreement, Minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang and Minister Dr Paulo Ivo Garrido will be able to collaborate, in terms of resource sharing, when dealing with the challenges that are facing their health systems,” the department said in a statement.

This included surveillance, control and management of communicable and non-communicable diseases, inadequate human resources and patient referral systems.

The health ministers would work together to find more effective mechanisms for the prevention and fight against various illnesses, notably malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids. - Sapa


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