Patient engagement critical to healthcare provision: Dr. Shangula

By Uaueza Kanguatjivi

HEALTH minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula has urged the nation to work together to create a healthcare culture that appreciates patient voices and incorporates them into all parts of healthcare. Dr Shangula said the Health Ministry’s top priorities include ensuring the safety of patients at all times and providing a positive experience for all persons who visit a health facility for treatment. The minister made these remarks at a World Patient Safety Day statement in which he emphasised the ministry’s steadfast commitment to maintaining patient safety and offering a pleasant healthcare experience for all seeking medical assistance. Dr. Shangula highlighted the critical role of patient engagement in the healthcare sector and the government’s commitment to patient safety. He stressed that this commitment is instrumental in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The annual World Patient Safety Day, celebrated on September 17, serves as a platform to highlight the importance of patient-centred care and the prevention of injury while under the supervision of health providers. The theme for this year, ‘Engaging Patients for Patient Safety,’ recognised the critical contributions that patients, families, and caregivers play in improving and ensuring patient safety.

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“Traditionally, healthcare has been operated on a provider-driven model, with healthcare professionals making decisions on behalf of patients,” the minister of health explained.

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Shangula reiterated moving toward treating patients as active partners in their care is important as it involves them and informs them in treatment decisions, as well as valuing their unique opinions.

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