Mzansi’s health­care sys­tem IS ON LIFE SUP­PORT

There are con­cerns the health­care sys­tem might col­lapse if there is no in­ter­ven­tion

Move! - - ISSUE - By Pheto Ra­makobya

IT seems ev­ery­thing is fall­ing apart in South Africa, from Eskom fall­ing into deep debt, to bil­lions be­ing spent on fruit­less ex­pen­di­ture at lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. It would now ap­pear the health­care sys­tem is also in sham­bles, with ill-equipped health­care fa­cil­i­ties, protests by staff and a lack of proper man­age­ment plagu­ing hos­pi­tals. South Africa’s health­care om­buds­man, Pro­fes­sor Male­ga­puru Mak­goba, has is­sued a warn­ing that the coun­try’s health­care sys­tem is on the verge of col­laps­ing.

THE IS­SUED WARN­ING

Speak­ing dur­ing an in­ter­view on eNCA re­cently, Pro­fes­sor Male­ga­puru said, “I think the state of health­care is col­laps­ing and many peo­ple and stud­ies have iden­ti­fied four things that are miss­ing; in­fra­struc­ture is col­laps­ing, hu­man re­sources in deficit, the gov­er­nance of pub­lic hos­pi­tals is poor and the work ethic of staff is col­laps­ing.”

Min­is­ter of health, Aaron Mot­soaledi, then held a press con­fer­ence to ad­dress Pro­fes­sor Male­ga­puru’s con­cerns. “The health­care om­buds­man is not a news an­a­lysts, po­lit­i­cal party or NGO; it is a statu­tory body, which works ac­cord­ing to rules and reg­u­la­tions and gives re­ports. I want to know from which study or through which method did he ar­rive at the con­clu­sion. He told me he meant to say if the coun­try’s present laws are not changed ur­gently, it will em­anate in the col­lapse of the health­care sys­tem,” said the min­is­ter.

AD­DRESS­ING THE IS­SUES AT HAND

Aaron ad­dressed most of the is­sues that were raised by the om­buds­man, say­ing there is a plan of ac­tion that is al­ready in place to deal with the is­sues the health­care sys­tem is fac­ing.

“I want to con­fess that some of the short­ages of hu­man re­sources is self-in­flicted like what hap­pened in the North West, where they stopped hir­ing peo­ple. Af­ter plac­ing them un­der sec­tion 101B, we found many va­can­cies and could not un­der­stand why so many va­can­cies were left un­filled. I want to an­nounce that be­fore the end of the month, we would have ad­ver­tised the first set of cru­cial posts in the North West and a fur­ther 223 va­can­cies would be ad­ver­tised at the cost of R150 mil­lion. We are mostly aware of poor man­age­ment skills in most of our prov­inces be­cause of wrong em­ploy­ment prac­tises, like ap­point­ing peo­ple in wrong places with­out them hav­ing right skills,” he said.

COSATU WANTS THE MIN­IS­TER OUT

The trade union Cosatu be­lieves that fir­ing Min­is­ter Aaron would sal­vage the fail­ing health­care sys­tem. They say they are not pleased that he has never taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for the prob­lems over the years.

“We sup­port the de­ci­sions taken by the na­tional gov­ern­ment over the years to in­ter­vene and res­cue the health­care sys­tem in many prov­inces, but the prob­lem starts with the Depart­ment of Health un­der his lead­er­ship,” read part of their press state­ment.

Cosatu has called for the Min­is­ter of Health Aaron Mot­soaledi to be fired as he’s fail­ing the pub­lic

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