Mixed reaction to health strategy
Johannesburg - A proposed strategy to increase employment in the healthcare system was received with mixed feelings on Wednesday.
The Democratic Alliance welcomed aspects of the Human Resource Strategy launched by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday, but said he had unfairly criticised private healthcare.
"Resolving the health human resource crisis in South Africa will be impossible without all players in the healthcare sector on board," DA MP Mike Waters said in a statement.
"The minister... must resist the temptation to play the blame game and alienate key allies in the effort to provide a quality public health service."
On Tuesday, Motsoaledi said South Africa's private health care system was a monster that would swallow the country whole.
"Health is a fundamental human right and if we don't work together this monster will swallow us whole. This is not a joke."
Motsoaledi said the department was seeking to bring private practitioners back into the public health care sector to improve the quality of medical care and education.
The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) agreed with Motsoaledi.
"It is not just [about] money, but the misallocation of resources, with a private health sector making rocketing profits and an underfunded and mismanaged public sector," spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.
"That is why Cosatu is campaigning for the urgent implementation of the National Health Insurance system to bring the quality of public health care up to the same and better standard as in the private sector," he said.
Motsoaledi said the strategy included revamping existing hospitals, creating a new medical school, and increasing the quota of medical students accepted by universities each year.