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The Premier of Mpumalanga Province DD Mabuza has spent his first two days in Bari, Puglia Province in Italy visiting a Fresh Produce Market, a highly sophisticated hospital medical record information storage warehouse and a public private partnership hospital.

The Premier is leading a delegation of three Members of the Executive Council comprising of the Department of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Mec Mr Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane, the Department of Health Mec Mr Gillion Mashego and the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Land and Environmental Affairs Mr Andreas Gamede.

Premier Mabuza has described his visit to Italy as a “benchmarking tour on areas of critical interest” for the provincial government of Mpumalanga. He added that it was not just a fact-finding mission but he was there to learn the best practice in areas of health, economic development and agriculture.

“From this visit we will be able to take what we believe will assist our government to speed up and improve the quality of service delivery back at home. For example the approach by the Italians on how cooperatives should function is very much different from what we have been trying to do in Mpumalanga.
“The kind of knowledge and experience we have gained in Bari Italy will assist us to improve our township and rural development economy model of cooperatives. This visit is proving to be a ground breaking tour for us,” said Mabuza.
The Premier added that his government would not just import models that are applied by countries like Italy as they are but would adopt that which is best for the province and is applicable to the socio economic conditions back at home.

The Premier added that the visit came at the right time as Mpumalanga Province was in the process of building the International Fresh Produce Market. He said the success of the fresh produce market would depend very much on the success of the cooperatives.

Premier Mabuza said the issue of proper and efficient storage of medical patient records was a serious concern to his government.

“Patient medical records get missing all the time because we are using the old dysfunctional method of keeping files. Officials are forced to open new files every time the old file has been lost and doctors cannot keep up with medical history of the patient.
“It makes their work very difficult because they have to continuously diagnose the patient. We could also be found not to be complying with rules and regulations of keeping patient medical records for a specified period” Premier Mabuza said.

The delegation also visited a public-private-partnership hospital, Muilli. The hospital is one of the best hospitals in the region of Bari with the state of the art equipment. Premier Mabuza said his government would carefully study how this partnership was formed and what makes it such a successful model.

“We are here to learn, get as much information as possible on what works, what are the variables that makes it work and how can we apply it in our province. We are very much aware that what works in Bari in Italy may not necessarily work in Mpumalanga,” Premier Mabuza concluded.

Yesterday [Monday, 04 May 2015] the Premier met with the Governor of Puglia Province, Honourable Nichi Vendola and also visited high profile agricultural projects.

Issued by Zibonele Mncwango
For more information kindly contact Zweli Mncube 082 559 5260 or +39 334 298 0538

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