Chang­ing need of health­care ur­gent

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - COMMENT -

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.

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