DA: Free State govt apathetic about health

2014-06-02 13:27

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Bloemfontein - The Free State government's general apathy towards the deteriorating health situation in the province's public health sector is concerning, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

"Medical professionals employed within the public health sector are increasingly coming forward with horror stories about financial and human resources mismanagement, medicine and medical equipment shortages and long waiting lists for medical procedures," DA MPL Mariette Pittaway said.

She said Free State Premier Ace Magashule and health MEC Dr Benny Malakoane did not seem concerned by the situation.

Pittaway said the department was in financial difficulty due to mismanagement. It entered the current financial year with a R700m shortfall.

"This negatively affects the department's ability to meet its financial obligations, especially with respect to the payment of salaries, the supply of medicine, medical equipment and food."

Free State health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said the provincial leadership and Malakoane were working on the financial problems.

"There are financial constraints due to accruals. We are working on them."

Mvambi said the provincial executive and the MEC had been talking about the problems and how to solve them, adding that it would take time for some of the issues to be addressed.

Pittaway said Malakoane was not fit to head the department.

"Since MEC Malakoane's appointment last term, health services across the Free State have deteriorated."

She said the DA did not have confidence in Malakoane's abilities to turn the department around.

Pittaway said the DA would hand a report on the worsening health situation to the health oversight committee and urge it to compel Malakoane to table a turnaround strategy.

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