The per capita expenditure on primary health (PHC) was the highest in the country at R354 per person in 2006/7, but it concealed wide differences between for example the West Coast with a per capita expenditure on PHC of R454 and the Overberg with R246.
Utilisation of services improved in all of the Western Cape districts with the exception of Cape Town. The bed utilization rate in district hospitals was the highest in South Africa, while the average length of stay increased to three days, below the average in the country of just over four days.
Researchers acknowledged that the province had performed well in the management of priority diseases, compared to the rest of the country. The TB cure rate at 71,9 percent was the highest in the country. ‘However, there is a long way to go to reach the World Health Organisation targets,’ researchers said.
The province did ‘very well’ with the testing of antenatal clients for HIV. All districts tested well over 95 percent of clients with the exception of Cape Town which brought the average down to 93,7 percent. This was by far the best rate in the country.
However, the uptake of nevirapine in HIV positive pregnant mothers decreased from 69,2 percent in 2005/6 to 65,7 percent in 2006/7. There was also a significant decrease in the nevirapine given to babies.
The Cape Winelands district administered nevirapine to 80 percent of babies born to HIV positive women while the uptake rate of nevirapine for HIV positive mothers was 60 percent. ‘This PMTCT programme needs greater attention to achieve targets of 95 percent,’ researchers said.
Cape Town is ranked in the top five highest spending districts in South Africa with the nurse clinical workload of 51,1 patients per nurse per day the highest in South Africa. Although Cape Town has the best access to water in the province, the incidence of diarrhea of 116,5 per 1 000 children under five is the second highest in the province.