Standing with the Sama march

2017-05-10 06:00

THE DA welcomes the announcement that the South African Medical Association (Sama) health-care workers will march on May 5 in protest against the shocking decline of health services in the province.

While KZN’s Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo has made every attempt to deny that problems exist, he cannot escape from damning claims by health-care workers themselves which have exposed both him and his department.

Sama members have every right to be aggrieved. The DA is aware of the numerous instances where the MEC has threatened them with being fired if they so much as talk to the media.

This high-handed and peremptory approach is common, as is the victimisation that is adding insult to their dreadful working conditions.

The DA has, for a number of years, challenged the MEC and his senior officials on the state of the Department of Health. The naked truth is that KZN has a severe shortage of medical staff, broken equipment at numerous facilities, crumbling infrastructure and a shoddy medicine supply system. This while curable cancers are becoming incurable.

Staff and patient security is also being compromised with a psychiatric patient allegedly murdered by another patient.

Meanwhile, queues are becoming longer and doctors and nurses are being forced to work longer hours, a situation that inevitably leads to burnout, the risk of more mistakes and dissatisfied patients.

The right to proper health care is enshrined in our country’s Constitution and the DA in KZN is committed to working with Sama to ensure that the MEC is held accountable.

As the political head of KZN’s Health Department, the buck stops with him.

Dr IMRAN KEEKA, MPL

DA KZN spokesperson Health

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