Seychelles Home Care Agency: "a more dignified service for all who need assistance," says CEO
Home Care Agency is mandated by law to deliver effective home care services. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - As of July 1, the new Seychelles Home Care Agency became fully operational after migrating from the Agency for Social Protection.
The establishment of the agency through the enactment of the Home Care Agency Act is aimed at modernising and improving the quality of home care service offered to the elderly, disabled, and other groups needing such care in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
The Home Care Agency is governed by a board of directors appointed for three years. Its main role is to support and oversee the management of the Agency's affairs and make recommendations on guidelines and policies in line with the government's strategic vision.
SNA caught up with the CEO of the agency, Dr Daniel Kallee, also an ordained Anglican priest, to talk about the work of the team that manages around 3,300 caregivers in their mission to invigorate and transform the home care service in the three main islands of Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue.
SNA: Tell us about your path to Seychelles, work in community programmes and priesthood.
DK: I am an ordained Anglican priest who came to Seychelles in 1985 from Mauritius and have worked on all the Islands in Seychelles for the past thirty-eight years. With my past training in community development work from Central Africa in Zambia, I joined the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports in 1999 to work in the programme development section, where I started as a programme development officer to later being appointed as Director for the Community Life Programmes until December 2010.
My ability in community work led to my appointment as the Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral from 2012 until 2021. During that time, I enrolled with the Diocesan Training Centre in Mauritius to further my academic studies with Acts Academy of Higher Education for a doctoral degree in 2016 which I completed in 2020.
SNA: What is the main role of the Home Care Agency?
DK: The main role of the Home Care Agency emanates from its Act of 2022, which was enacted by the President of the Republic and the National Assembly. The Agency was established to register beneficiaries of home care services and home caregivers and administer and regulate the provision of Home Care services and any connected matters.
|CEO of the agency, Dr Daniel Kallee. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: What responsibilities did the agency have that were not there before?
DK: The Home Care Agency is mandated by law to deliver effective home care services. It is pivotal in achieving the highest quality of life possible for those who need assistance to live independently and to allow a person to live safely in their home.
The allocation of home caregivers' competency in providing home care will be upgraded through training. The agency will have a section responsible for promoting well-being, training, and education. A training programme will be developed after key concepts of home care services have been identified as indispensable by key stakeholders like the Ministry of Health and the Department of Social Affairs for all caregivers.
SNA: What are the agency's first priorities?
DK: Training will be organised with the involvement of all key partners at the district level for all carers so that we act as a common front to improve home care services. The registration of caregivers for training will first be a new development in home care services before a contract is signed with the agency to certify their competency. The Agency will also be responsible for drawing a contract between the caregivers and beneficiaries or by his or her guardian or close relative in case they cannot do so.
The Agency will also set up a separate section to monitor home care services. A principal monitoring officer will lead a team of five monitoring officers on Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue to ensure that a regular visit is undertaken to determine the standard and level of services being offered and to assess the well-being of the recipients. The monitoring section will also investigate any complaint by the recipients or by his or her family member, the caregivers or any complaint by our stakeholders and members of the community. The Agency will also monitor all private home care services operating as a business in Seychelles.
The monitoring section will address all the negatives around the home care services and caregivers in Seychelles. The Board of the Agency is conscious of the long procedures for home care application. An exercise will be undertaken to review the process and make it more accurate, brief, and easy for the population.
|The monitoring section will address all the negatives around the home care services. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY|
SNA: There are many negative perceptions around home care services and carers in Seychelles. How will the Agency change this?
DK: In line with the different policies for home care services, there is a need to relook at all the existing policies to make them relevant and to address and curb unnecessary assistance and wastage of government resources, as the Agency is recording around 65 new cases monthly. With an aging population, it will be important to reassess all home care cases on a one-to-one basis and redefine the needs of all recipients.
SNA: How will Seychelles benefit from the Home Care Agency in the long run?
The agency will operate a system reflecting modernised home care services based on merit and where the human side is taken into consideration, and the customer care service is improved by all the staff of the Agency and the caregivers.
It is an opportunity to start the operation of a new agency for home care, and the new expected outcome will depend on the change we hope to bring in the prevailing culture of home care services in Seychelles to a more dignified service for all who need assistance.