Military Health Service fixing ambulance fleet, to acquire 4 field hospitals

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The South African Military Health Service is replacing obsolete equipment, vehicles and ambulances. Since the 2008/9 financial year the life-saving service has procured and converted 35 ambulances, 56 “masstransportation vehicles”, 10 panel vans and 60 other vehicles.

Another 58 ambulances will be converted in the financial year starting next month (April 1) the National Treasury’s Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) for defence notes. The ENE adds the SAMHS will from April 2012 also receive R100 million for the replacement of operational ambulances.

Priorities are acquiring four field hospitals, developing the landward vehicle projects to provide the necessary operational ambulance and health support vehicles; renewing main medical equipment for operational and base orientated infrastructure; procuring integrated air medical evaluation and training system; and renewing health facilities to render a world class military health service to patients. “The prioritisation will be done according to the need and availability of funding.”

A chemical, biological and radiation defence capability was developed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup to a plan made by the Department of Health and the SAMHS and “training to members and external stakeholders is being conducted.” The health service continued developing its capacity in disaster and humanitarian relief for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond and is prepared to provide personnel for casualty decontamination and detection teams. Decontamination and isolation systems and equipment were procured in 2009/10.

Elsewhere the Treasury says the implementation of the facility master plan resulted in maintaining and repairing three military hospitals, approval to build a new medical depot in Pretoria, and registering the upgrade of the facilities of the military health training formation as a project with the Department of Public Works. “As part of the health service’s focus on repairing and upgrading priority health facilities in 2008/09, 3 outdated health informatics systems were replaced.”

The ENE says Military Health Support accounts for 8.1% of the department’s total expenditure, which increases from R1.7 billion in 2006/07 to R3.2 billion in 2012/13, at an average annual rate of 11.1%. “This is mainly due to the additional allocations of up to R190 million in 2010/11 for the
military skills development system programme and landward renewal, and the R100 million from 2012/13 for the replacement of operational ambulances.
“The increase in this programme from 2006/07 to 2009/10 is due to additional provisions for the procurement of pharmaceuticals, additional health care responsibility for military skills development system members, the implementation of scarce skills and rural allowances for health professionals, improvements to the health informatics system, antiretroviral rollout and sustaining the presidential health team.
“Expenditure on consultants on large projects amounted to R4 million for 2008/09 and R9 million for 2009/10, most of which was used for completing organisation and work study reports required for organisational restructuring, and for transactional advisors on a possible public private
partnership to secure hospital beds in major centres at a reduced cost,” the ENE document adds.

The average annual increase of 21.4% in spending in the Mobile Military Health Support subprogramme over the MTEF period is due to the initiation of a defence against chemical and biological warfare project and the aero medical and specialist training facility project. The 41.1% increase in spending in the Military Health Maintenance Capability subprogramme from 2009/10 to 2010/11 is based on the planned re-activation of the military health technical support capabilities through regular and reserve members.

The increase of 38.8% in the Military Health Training Capability subprogramme between 2009/10 and 2010/11 is due to the additional allocation for the military skills development system.
“Over the MTEF period, spending in the Military Health Support programme will focus on the improvement of health service delivery to contribute to the readiness of the South African National Defence Force. The South African Military Health Service will focus on programmes to address operational support capabilities, and tertiary/specialist and base orientated capabilities.

Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Strategic direction

R88.4m

R119m

R149.6m

R 194.7m

R181.5m

R203.6m

R232.9m

Mobile military health support

R64.7m

R77.8m

R66.8m

R81.7m

R119.1m

R148.3m

R146.1m

Area military health service

R632.9m

R678.6m

R733.3m

R796.5m

R886.8m

R925.1m

R938.9m

Specialist/tertiary health service

R585.7m

R649.1m

R715.6m

R835.5m

R877.3m

R929.9m

R985.3m

Military health product support

R109.3m

R103.6m

R135.9m

R220.1m

R210.4m

R237.6m

R353.5m

Military health maintenance

R120.8m

R114.5m

R222.7m

R136.6m

R192.9m

R189.8m

R197.8m

Military health training

R103.5m

R135.2m

R152.9m

R217.7m

R302.2m

R326.9m

R346.7m

TOTAL

R1705.2m

R1877.7m

R2176.9m

R2482.8m

R2770.2m

R2961.3m

R 3,201.30

Change to Feb 2009 budget estimate:

+R1893m

+R2157.3m

+R2314.5m

+R269.9m


Audited

Revised estimate

Estimated

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Salaries

R1063m

R1194.1m

R1377.1m

R1607m

R1798.2m

R1916.6m

R1999.3m

Machinery and equipment

R87.6m

R68.5m

R121.6m

R56.4m

R48.5m

R50.3m

R54.5m

Specialised military assets

nil

nil

nil

nil

R0.6m

R3.6m

R100.6m

Special Defence Account allocation

R0.9m

R1.1m

R1.5m

R1.8m

R24.7m

R46.8m

R39.2m


Objectives and measures for the Service include:

  • a health support capability of five medical battalion groups per year, including one specialist medical battalion group, for deployed and contingency forces

  • a comprehensive multidisciplinary health service to a projected patient population of 230 000 members per year.

 

Indicator

Programme

Past

Current

Projections

FY2006/7

FY2007/8

FY2008/9

FY2009/10

FY2010/11

FY2011/12

FY2012/13

Number of health care activities*

per year

Military Health Support

2 400 000

2 400 000

2 400 000

2 400 000

*The performance indicator was changed to provide an overview of the South African Military Health Service performance in terms of the number of health care activities, which include health assessments and medical support services in the 88 geographic health care facilities, 3 military hospitals and the military health institutes as well as to national and international dignitaries and during internal and external operations.

The ENE shows that in 2008/09, 554 034 patients were treated by means of 973 800 health care activities at the 88 health care facilities countrywide. 332 500 health care activities took place in military hospitals by means of outpatient consultations and 23 587 patients were treated as inpatients at these hospitals. Health care practitioners supported all external and internal military operations and 1 Military Hospital provided a level 4 facility as required by the UN. The number of learners on planned courses was 4 096.

The strategic decision to train more military skills development system members as emergency care technicians in 2009 increased the health service’s capacity by approximately 230 members and members will be used during the 2010 FIFA World Cup to be included thereafter in the reserves as a contribution to the core growth one force concept.

In 2009/10, 584 978 health care activities and 38 218 health assessments took place in the 88 health care facilities countrywide, and 386 049 health care activities took place in military hospitals and specialist facilities. 32 488 health care activities took place in the specialist maritime environment and 6 753 activities in the specialist aviation environment. 1 320 national and international dignitary medical support and health activities took place. 2 963 learners attended planned courses. During the national strike of doctors in provincial hospitals in 2009, health care practitioners were supported by the health service providing health care to national departments such as the Department of Health, and in all external and internal military operations.

The health service was appointed as the leader in rendering emergency services during the labour action of the doctors in several provincial hospitals in 2009. In 2009, the South African Military Health Service embarked on a project to microdot and fit tracking systems in all vehicles.



Pic: A SAMHS BAE Systems Umfezi armoured ambulance pictured just fter driving into a warthog hole, SA Army Combat Training Centre, Lohatlha, November 2006.