Gauteng health administration needs ‘shake up’
THE troubled Gauteng health department, which has a “chaotic” administration, needs an urgent “big shake up”.
This is the view of Gauteng Premier David Makhura, who conceded all was not well in the department, which was still reeling from the death of over 100 psychiatric patients at Life Esidimeni and the mortuary workers three-week strike.
The recent collapse of the roof at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital is also among issues the department has had to grapple with.
Speaking at the tabling of the provincial budget at the Gauteng Legislature yesterday, Makhura blamed administrators for the poor running of the department.
“The department’s clinicians are doing well but it is officials at the provincial level that are failing the system. Those in charge of the institutions of health, whether it is provincial or regional or the hospitals themselves, we need a big shake up there,” he said.
Makhura said the urgent overhaul had to take place before 2019 when his term of office ends. “We are monitoring carefully the work being done to fix public health in our province. We will not rest until all the problems in our health system are addressed fully,” he said.
Makura said the provincial government and the health department were implementing the recommendations of the Health Ombudsman’s Report into the Life Esidimeni deaths. The report by Malegapuru Makgoba found 100 patients died after forced removals from Life Esidimeni homes.
Malegapuru recommended that the NGOs that looked after the patients be shut down and investigated by police.
After the deaths, patients were moved from the unregistered NGOs to new ones, but it emerged this week 160 of them had not been paid for three months.
Makhura said the problem was not that the department didn’t have money. “One part relates to the administrative chaos in the department of health. It is something we are on top of.”
He said all NGOs would be paid by Friday, but stressed senior management in the department needed to “shape up”.
The DA’s Jack Bloom blamed the department and Makhura for destroying small businesses in the province by not paying service providers on time.