Changing need of healthcare urgent
THERE is a danger of a health crisis engulfing the whole country especially in regard to the non-payment of overtime and the generally poor working conditions of doctors and nurses.
Apparently doctors are working shocking amounts of overtime at various hospitals around the country and in many cases they are not being paid for these extra hours of work.
Other areas of conflict include demands by nurses that there be an end to private ambulance services and an overhaul of recruitment policies regarding nurses. There was also a problem with unresolved disciplinary hearings.
In some cases strikes are already under way. In the North West nurses have been on strike since February 28. Pressures are also being felt at hospitals in Gauteng and the Western Cape.
Problems like this are not unique to just a few provinces, in fact health services countrywide are constantly under threat.
Despite the massive budgets that are made available to provinces for health services there are always situations that show resources are not being used properly.
What we need to do is really speed up the process of establishing the NHI.
Having a lavish private healthcare system on one hand, for the rich and a well resourced but badly managed system for the rest of the country is not workable.
It has been going on too long and it is time that the very sensible ideas and practices laid out in the NHI plan, once and for all, change the face of healthcare in South Africa.
That is the kind of massive transformation that is so crucial to our future and to ensuring that we provide efficient and high quality healthcare to all.