The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has appointed a new HOD, in a move that could bring stability to the department.
It has been without a head of department for almost two years.
Dr Sandile Tshabalala said he was honoured by the appointment, promising to begin implementing innovative programmes to improve the KZN health system.
“I am deeply honoured and humbled at being appointed to head the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. I am very grateful to the honourable premier for the confidence that she has shown in me,” Tshabalala said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I promise to discharge my duties with diligence and loyalty in the service of the people of KwaZulu-Natal.
“I am particularly looking forward to implementing a range of new, innovative and exciting programmes that have been introduced by our honourable MEC, Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, which are aimed at improving the overall health outcomes of the people of this province,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Some of these programmes include the roll-out of an electronic patient record filing system, improving health care staff capacity to a minimum of 60%, more accessibility and accountability of role-players and improving overall health services and efficiency.
Dr Tshabalala has a long history of working in the medical field, serving in positions such as CEO of Ngwelezane Hospital from October 2008 to July 2010, and CEO of Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital from 2015 to 2017.
From 2010 to 2012, he worked as a programme manager where he was responsible for medical male circumcision, condom distribution and behavioural change.
Before his appointment to head of department, Tshabalala was the chief director of clinic support services, among other positions in the NGO sector.
Simelane-Zulu has welcomed Tshabalala’s appointment, saying the department will be in good hands.
“His is a very important appointment, as this department has been without a permanent Head of Department for nearly two years, which is something you can ill-afford for a department of this magnitude, with the kind of mandate that it has. In Dr Tshabalala, the department is in good hands administratively,” Simelane-Zulu said.
She added, “He brings in a wealth of leadership qualities and experience within the public health sector, all of which will come in very handy as we implement our programmes that are aimed at reducing the burden of disease in this province.”