15 May 2015 – According to Statistics South Africa, 70% of South Africans rely on the public health system. Lack of skills, equipment and funding are some of the challenges that public hospitals face in their efforts to deliver vital health care.
The Helen Joseph Public Hospital, situated in Auckland Park, is no exception. According to Helen Joseph Hospital CEO Dr Raymond Billa, the hospital faces numerous challenges. These include high patient loads especially at the medical department; old infrastructure and a need for highly qualified staff.
In 2014, Airports Company South Africa identified the need to assist Helen Joseph Hospital with their challenge of moving patients around the hospital while their wheelchairs were taken in for repair and maintenance. The donation of 40 different sized wheelchairs to Helen Joseph Hospital will assist in alleviating this challenge and have a broader impact on the local community.
Dr Billa adds, “South Africa’s disease profile continues to change. As chronic diseases associated with lifestyle and trauma steadily increases the number of people with disabilities, there is a growing need for wheelchairs. The need is so great that even though we issued 196 wheelchairs last year, there remains a great demand for mobility assistive devices in the community.”
Airports Company South Africa has, for the past 12 years, managed an Assistive Devices Programme that has donated over 11 000 wheelchairs in addition to assistive devices for people with hearing and sight impairments. This programme is part of the company’s Socio Economic Development (SED) strategy which gives particular focus to vulnerable segments of society.
Refentse Shinners, Group Executive: Corporate Affairs, Airports Company South Africa says, “An important element of this SED strategy focusses on partnerships. By collaborating with organisations that are professionals in their areas of service, our SED initiatives are able to achieve the greatest impact. This is especially the case with Helen Joseph Hospital where the wheelchairs will not only address an immediate need but also have a long-term benefit for the community.”
“Collaboration is key to being effective in delivering social responsibility programmes. We are delighted that our Assistive Devices Programme has such a visible impact on deserving beneficiaries”, concludes Shinners.
The wheelchair hand over will take place at:
9 am, Monday 18 May
Helen Joseph Hospital
Administration Block, CEO’s Office
1 Perth Road