The Gauteng Department of Health has signed the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the Nelson Mandela Children Hospital (NMCH).

The SLA is a corporate governance management agreement designed to enhance the governance of the hospital through an effective relationship between Gauteng Health and the facility.  

The executive at Provincial and National level approved the establishment and functioning of the hospital thus the final signing of the SLA.

Amongst others, the agreement defines the terms and conditions governing the operational expenditure funding by the Department, in respect of corporate governance issues as outlined in the Public Finance Management Act, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each party.

In his opening remarks, Gauteng Health’s acting Head of Department, Professor Lukhele reminded the gathering that the Nelson Mandela Hospital is built from donor funds and that the project was spearheaded by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

He also empahised that this venture is highly appreciated, wherein the private and the public sector were able to come together to realise the dream of one of our icons, the 1st President of the democratic Republic of South Africa, Mr Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

“In line with the legacy of this renowned icon and world leader, who is known for his meticulous attention to details and unending drive to achieve the best, both the department and hospital needed time to  work on the nitty gritty of the agreement and to ensure that all areas are covered and that a good sustainable product is attained, have a proper consultation with the facility management and the expert clinicians already functioning at our hospital in the true spirit of Madiba style”, explained  Professor Lukhele.

“The Nelson Mandela Children Hospital is a valuable and highly appreciated addition to the hospitals that provide care to indigent children who require quaternary services in South Africa and the African Continent as whole. To drive such complex services, it became absolutely necessary to ensure that the anticipated high standard of care is achieved and maintained and that systems are tested”, added Professor Lukhele.

Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Gwen Ramokgopa has also expressed her excitement about the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital and further stated that the hospital is a state aided hospital, funded through a grant administered by the Gauteng Department of  Health in the region of R600 million over the Medium Term Framework.

“’With the track record of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hosptial, I am looking forward to working well with the Hospital Board in an accountable manner for ethical leadership striving at all times for excellence”, said the MEC.

“We know that the Hospital started taking its first patient in June 2017 and it will continue to open in a phased manner.  We have now finalised the clinical governance framework for the hospital to start operating and thus befitting that we are here today to officially operationalise the three specialised services:  Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Paediatric Nephrology and Paediatric Cardiology as we celebrate the Nelson Mandela Centenary this year in 2018.

“’We are adding 40 Paediatric ICU Beds in service platforms and without a doubt, the facility will provide much needed relieve to our strained public health care facilities while providing world class care to our children in an environment designated for them. I am happy about the signing of the agreement today and I am optimistic about the partnership and the future of our public health care system.

“The province has offered paediatric care to 357 471 children in the current financial year, 2017/18 in various levels: districts, national, provincial, regional and specialised public healthcare facilities.

The MEC added: “I would also like the Board to share with us the infrastructure deployment model and the governance model which we may use as we transform and strengthen these areas in many state hospitals. We must use our common experience in this as well as projects like Folateng Units and the Paediatric Surgery facility at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital,”  

“These models point to the possibilities of delivering quality infrastructure and better governance to support our staff including world class health experts to serve and care better for patients.  Let me end by saying this hospital is an asset and pride of our nation. It is a monument to celebrate the life of a humble and ordinary man who served and continue to inspire humanity in an extraordinary way. Let’s continue working together, including with our partners in the media to inspire the current and future generations in projects such as this”, concluded MEC Ramokgopa.

Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital CEO, Dr Mandisa Maholwana said: “We are proud to have achieved another significant milestone in our journey to making Madiba’s dream a reality, particularly in this centenary year of his birth.

“Our partnership with government will enable us to deliver the best quality specialist paediatric care to all children. By supplementing the existing tertiary and quaternary services, we will support the healthcare system to improve and perform optimally. As part of the medical and academic ecosystem, we will continue to collaborate and contribute to developments in paediatric medicine.”

The Nelson Mandela Children Hospital’s board chairperson, Mr Phuthuma Ntleko also empahised the importance of the day, he said in his own words, “Today is really yet another day where we fulfil another milestone in placing yet another important element of what I consider to be tapestry that was really begun by the visionary leadership of the late President Mandela. It’s actually quite riveting that we should be having this occasion in a year that we are celebrating his centenary, it couldn’t have happened at the better time.”  

The Gauteng Department of Health will be contributing financial assistance to the Hospital in terms of the conditional grant model, the Department will provide such financial assistance on an annual basis guided by the MTEF cycle.  The Agreement shall be effective from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2020 and it may be reviewed, updated and amended annually, if necessary, by the Parties.