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Yesterday, the outgoing Health Ombud, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, confirmed what the DA has always known to be true – the ANC government is incapable of fixing the public health system, a mess that was largely created by their mismanagement and corruption and will only be exacerbated by the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill that was recently bulldozed through Parliament despite a legion of objections and concerns from the DA, other opposition parties, health stakeholders, Parliamentary Legal Services and the general public.
Professor Makgoba made scathing statements about the state of health care in various provinces, in particular, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and the Free State, comparing the Gauteng Department of Health’s problems of no leadership, no capacity, and no vision to that of Eskom’s and saying that it’s being run by Mickey Mouse. He further said that the Eastern Cape Department of Health was an embarrassment and that there was disorder and no harmony in the Free State.
He did however laud the DA-run Western Cape.
Professor Makgoba’s statements confirms the DA’s own oversights to public health facilities in the provinces. Gauteng, the Free State and the Eastern Cape are riddled with a myriad of serious problems that have significant consequences for health care provision in there and some violating human rights.
And the other provinces are not far behind. This weekend four newborn babies was placed in cardboard boxes due to the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital in North West’s shortage of cribs and incubators. The fact that the hospital managers reportedly ignored reports of the equipment shortage and went to a lekgotla instead of addressing the dire situation shows a callous lack of concern for the health of their patients.
This disregard for patient health is a common trend in ANC-run provinces. Corruption and mismanagement have become commonplace in the public health sector, exacerbating problems of staff shortages, lack of equipment, dangerous and crumbling healthcare facilities, and general lack of quality healthcare service delivery. The NHI will only sweeten the pot and push the teetering health sector over the edge. The DA will continue to fight the NHI tooth and nail.
Issued by Michele Clarke MP - DA Shadow Minister of Health