Private healthcare 'a monster'

2011-10-11 15:30

Johannesburg - South Africa's private healthcare system is a monster that will swallow the country whole, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Tuesday.

"People think I am mad, but the healthcare system wasn't always this way. Our shortage [in medical staff] is self-created," he said.

"Health is a fundamental human right. And if we don't work together, this monster will swallow us whole. This is not a joke, I will talk this madness until people join the madness."

Motsoaledi was talking at the launch of the Human Resource Strategy for Health in Johannesburg.

"Improving human planning, development and management is instrumental in the overhaul of the health system," he said.

Poor planning

The health sector needed a skilled workforce able to respond to the burden of disease and citizens' expectation of quality service. He said a medical staff shortage was caused by poor planning by the apartheid government.

"We are suffering because of their messes. We are also creating our own messes, but we need to stop this. The country used to be fragmented by colour, but it is fragmented by economics now."

Motsoaledi said the strategy included the revamping of existing hospitals, the creation of a new medical school, and increasing the quota of medical students accepted by universities each year.

"We need many, many, many students to increase the output of doctors. Almost three times what we have now. And even if we do this for 10 years, we still won't meet the amount of doctors that we need," he said.

"The training of people from rural areas is important because when they finish study, they go back to practise at their areas. I did the same thing."

Motsoaledi said many private practitioners needed to move back into the public health care sector to improve the quality of medical care and education.

"How to get these doctors back is the million dollar question. We are planning for this and we will reveal our plans soon."

  • 2bornot2b - 2011-10-11 15:38

    Maybee the shortage in Qualified doctors has something to do with the level and standard of the education system???!!

      Green Oaks - 2011-10-11 15:48

      Stop paying them a pittance for a start. A couple of years ago Manto (Jack Daniels) Tshabalala-Msimang got all the Cuban doctors to come and work here. Where are they now? Same as the teachers 15 years ago. All were given packages. Look at our education now. You made the bed. Now sleep in it. By the way Mr Motsoaledi, you want to tell me you don't have a Discovery Health card in your wallet !!

      DW - 2011-10-11 15:55

      "People think I am mad, but the healthcare system wasn't always this way. Our shortage [in medical staff] is self-created" - Absolutely right. Not only a shortage of medical doctors (many who have left the country) but nursing staff too. There used to be nursing training colleges just like teacher training colleges. I am open to correction, but I think our wonderful government closed these down too. However our private hospitals DO rip us off shockingly. They make massive profits and, although they say their prices are driven by market forces, it is an artificial market. If our government hospitals were up to scratch, there would be real competition. Under the apartheid system I had absolutely not qualms about using a government hospital whatsoever. Yes there were white wards and non-white wards (as well as white entrances and non-white entrances) but the quality of care in ALL the wards was the same. I was studying Occupational Therapy at the time and worked in Garankuwa Hospital and in the non-white section of the then Hendrik Verwoerd Hospital doing my practicals. There was NO difference between the quality of care to the white wards. The nurses had their own training college as well and did their practicals in whatever ward they were allocated to. Fix the government hospitals and you will not have the crazy pricing structures in private hospitals.

      d2eguy - 2011-10-11 15:57

      the only one to thank for this mess is the same idiots who wanted BEE, EE and AA , the same idiots that stuffed our education up ,the same idiots that allowed our health care to be over-run with fraud and corruption , the same idiots that allowed crime to get so bad that all professionals left the country and who do we have to thank the one and only useless ANC .

      Kevin - 2011-10-11 15:57

      Its more than education it is also about working conditions and pay. Only when these are dealt with in their totality will the situation begin to rectify its self. Perhaps the Minister might encourage his colleagues to use the public health system, then there will be fewer of them.

      cooked - 2011-10-11 16:03

      I am a white south african who wanted to be a doctor all my life. when I applied to medical school, under the new government, I was turned down because of racial quotas. A shortage of medical doctors - you only have yourselves to blame.

      dave_23 - 2011-10-11 16:07

      When Motsoaledi or his family are sick, I wonder if he goes to private or state-run clinics?

      Protest - 2011-10-11 16:11

      The shortage of qualified doctors is the direct result of the current regime fiddling with the medical regulations relating to medical licences. Also, the dispensing of medicines is so un-profitable that a lot of doctors are not interested any more. What motivates a doctor to stay in South Africa where they are now being bullied by the massive government interference, compared to being able to function properly as doctors almost anywhere else but here. Doctors in South Africa spend a significant portion of their time on the massive amounts of unnecessary admin enforced by the government. There are nearly no doctors under 40 to be found in private practice. The younger doctors are able to achieve so much more in other countries. I would like to know how the regime is going to implement the NHI in this vacuum environment already making future doctors looking at greener pastures. Blaming apartheid is the most convenient excuse rather than the current regime admitting that they F****d up.

      MojoBa - 2011-10-11 16:24

      I agreed with this d*&s. I mean, when the white government handed over to the black government, we should have know that they would stuff everything up completely and we should have had a plan (with pictures) for them to follow. Did we not know that if we left them to think for themselves, this was what was going to happen?????

      mac-sdi - 2011-10-11 16:39

      His appointment is another Zuma failure. Jobs for crazy pals. This guy wants us to believe his views. Why not fix public hospitals, attract private hospital employees into the public sphere. Stop using scare tactics to defer us from the truth. Your government's incompetence

      Darckie - 2011-10-11 16:55

      u got it right thats the only reason !!! fix that all will be well!!! Nothing beats enudcated citizens

      DoublySalmon - 2011-10-11 20:44

      1 in 8000 black matrics have higher grade maths and science, most have an IQ of about 72 points. If you can only achieve 72 points on an IQ test you're not going to become a doctor. 1 in 5 working white adults have left the country, most tend to be highly skilled, educated, qualified (same words) and experienced with substantial free cash-flow to finance the move. Why would a doctor work in South Africa if they can work anywhere and in doing so ensure the safety of their family? What has the current government been doing for 17 years? Why was the infant mortality better pre-1994? Life expectancy was also better pre-1994. The reason we have problems today is because the ANC is still blaming the past government who is not in control anymore to fix anything, the ANC is now responsible for all problems and they've got to fix it. Private healthcare is not the problem - the problem is we need private healthcare as the government has failed us and stolen the taxes we pay for health care. The government should be ashamed that citizens have to look to private enterprises to provide basic services.

      RowRobCk - 2011-10-11 21:21

      I find it strange that Tokyo was investing in private healthcare many years back ,when you would have thought this was going to be a area that government would have looked after , he must have known a long time ago that public health would be deteriorating and the have's and the wabenzies would be moving to private hospitals ,another question is how an unregulated taxi industry can get into the airline market and expect a subsidy from gov for shortfalls when the industry looses a fortune in revenue collection?

      patherh - 2011-10-12 09:58

      @DoublySalmon: Lets not go there with comparing IQ levels across race groups. This leads to people justifying racist behavior. Go and research it and you would find that generally Asians have a higher IQ than Whites. We do not go around the country saying we are better than Whites or Blacks, because this is not the case. Do not justify your preconceived racist ideas by pointing fingers at other racist groups. You will be surprised at what gets pointed back.

      DoublySalmon - 2011-10-12 10:52

      @patherh If you can't score more than 72 points on an IQ test you're not going to become a doctor. If you are a sub-Saharan African your IQ will be about 72 points. Regardless of how bias the tests can be, an exam paper will have the same bias. Preconceived racist ideas are one thing, empirically proven facts which are colour blind is a whole different ball game.

      umlaut - 2011-10-12 11:44

      DW---" Fix the government hospitals and you will not have the crazy pricing structures in private hospitals. " This is said over and over again, but aaron doesn't read these comments and he never ever thought of that--- The anc IS A MONSTER of inefficiency and if they can't think logically now, why would any body with a mind think they will be able to think in the future. This guy is trying to invoke the masses with the idea all this degeneration of the health service, is the fault of the PRIVATE CAPITALIST SECTOR. He and the anc thinks these Communist ideas will solve SA's problems. With these minds at the head of this country, SA IS DOOMED.

      Vive la Revolution - 2011-10-12 15:20

      Lets not forget compensation. Last time I heard qualified physicians at some state hospitals were being paid around 8k a month. This while our president can spend 70 million on expanding his palace and 700k on driving his wives around. One cannot blame the private healthcare system for any problems with the provision of public health care. If the government actually invested in the public healthcare system and made state hospitals institutions which were hygienic, professionally staffed and equipped with the most basic of medical supplies and equipment, then SA's middle class would not be so reliant on private health care providers. However, as this government has show an utter disregard from the welfare of its citizenry, most middle class south africans have been forced in a situation where private medical care is our only option. As for blaming apartheid. Dont make me %$#!#$%^ laugh. Government hospitals which catered to the needs of all races were run as well under the NP government as private institutions are being run in the current SA. And yes, this comes from a previously disadvantaged coloured male

      moiraine - 2011-10-12 18:29

      How can he blame apartheid, during apartheid there was much more training of staff going on. I trained to be a nurse starting in 1990, all the government hospitals had training colleges, and so did most of the private hospitals. The nursing colleges were shut down well after then, they also changed the structure of the nursing courses and cut down the number of points you needed to get in etc. As a result fewer nurses are specialising and many that are learn off by heart and dont understand what they are learning. I worked in non-white and white goverment hospitals during my training and I can assure you that what was offered was very similar on both sides. The buildings may not have been as nice but there was no major difference in the care, and paatients were seen quickly, and actually treated. Currently the private hospitals can charge what they like because there is no viable alternative.

      Krusty_Crab - 2011-10-13 14:08

      "The training of people from rural areas is important because when they finish study, they go back to practise at their areas. I did the same thing." Why study and try to uplift yourself just to go back to what you dispise ??

  • HARR1 - 2011-10-11 15:40

    YA YA YA!!!!!! Blame all the sh@t on the white government if it makes you happy,the fact that so called nurses who work in the government hospitals are disgracefull,neglegent and have dont care behaviour.You clearly havent been to a few government hospitals,pathetic and you call them hospitals.

      PB - 2011-10-11 16:35

      The nurses are a law unto themselves these days. I complained to the sister after extremely unsanitary treatment while in a high-care ward. She told me to rather not make waves, otherwise they will just make it worse. This was in a private hospital, I don't even want to think what would happen in a government hospital.

      liezelb - 2011-10-11 19:07

      I beg to differ about government nurses. Recently, my partner broke his collarbone and was stuck at a private hospital for a week, with his fancy discovery card. Not only was he dehydrated (and operated on dehydrated!), the nurses took no initiative in helping him and it eventually took a call to a head nurse and the dr from ME to have him back on a drip. I, on the other hand, went to Karl Bremer for a small procedure a week later as I don't pay the cash cow that's our medical aid. I felt like a VIP in the ward. Clean, and the most attentive nurses I've met in my life. They can be very proud of themselves.

      Chloe - 2011-10-13 13:12

      I would like to know something urgently. Why do the nurses at the pathologists (at NETCARE AS WELL AS MEDICROSS) think they don't have to wash their hands when they take blood. Since when did that stop. For months and months now at the Union in Alberton the only basin for washing hands was covered in plastic. I watch them very closely. They don't spray anything on their hands and it horrifies me that they pat down the cotton swabs with those hands and then afterwards use that same swab to plaster the point of entry. That in my book is a contaminated swab. These are private institutions - what has happened to hand washing? There are flesh eating germs in all of the hospitals nowadays, why do the pathologists think when using a needle they don't have to be clean? Clean means washed or disinfected. I am really angry at this.

  • capetownphotographer - 2011-10-11 15:40

    I might be in favor of national healthcare if it required all Political party Leaders to get their heads examined, starting at the top.

  • Chris - 2011-10-11 15:40

    And the state health system that has Killed babies in the Eastern Cape; Is understaffed; Requires patients to wait 6-8 months for appointments ect ect is OK - Maybe our ill informed ANC members that want to nationalise it all should be hospitalised in the state system rather than the private hospitals! The cannot even run what they are responsible for now how do they think they will be able to run all health care in this nation!

      moiraine - 2011-10-12 21:52

      What about the KZN hospital where the nurses were arrested for beating the patient to death?

  • Buic Unix - 2011-10-11 15:41

    Well sorry madman, but that is what it is...instead of blaming the previous government how about you ask ANC to stop the lavish life style and sponsor poor matriculants to go study and help the nation...sorry i dont believe the private care is a monster, even Julius Malema can not stand a public hospital where he gave tender to his brother to supposedly build better health care systems..he went to a private health care treated by a white doctor for some1 who wants to kill white people "shaking my head" d(~_~)b ....

      Tgif - 2011-10-11 15:50

      Pigs of various equality !!!! Mr Madness-soeledi NHI is going to swallow all our money not private health care . How can the country be run by this bunch of incompetent fools ??

  • - 2011-10-11 15:41

    These damn politicians,talk,talk,talk,talk and nothing gets done.I wonder who writes their speeches,they are certainly not capable of it.

  • jeremy - 2011-10-11 15:42

    For those who can afford it, private health care is quite literally a life-saver. And I wonder where Motsoaledi goes for his own health care? It's about time government stopped picking on those things that actually work - and focused on those thing that DON'T work, such as public health care. Get that right - and those of us who use private health care might actually listen to you!

  • bill - 2011-10-11 15:43

    people KNOW you are mad . Well retarded maybe if you think that that lazy , corrupt bunch of cretins you call a civil service can run a spaza let alone the NHI.

      PB - 2011-10-11 16:48

      "People think I am mad, but the healthcare system wasn't always this way. Our shortage [in medical staff] is self-created," he said. You stuffed up our medical schools, you forced our graduates to rather move overseas, you stuffed up the nursing training colleges, you lowered your pass rates for matriculants, which made for students not able to handle even the most brain dead degree, nevermind medical degrees. You expect graduates to work for a pittance, you treat them like idiots and then you allow especially anc tenderpreneurs to f up the finances by allocating tenders to people not remotely in a position to deliver what is necessary. Bottomline YOU - THE ANC - STUFFED IT ALL UP - IT WAS WORKING WHEN THE WHITEYS WERE RUNNING IT!!!

      GypseyAnn - 2011-10-12 12:03

      @ PB - I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. They were handed many departments and governmental systems which were working, but because they were white, they had to be changed. Now they are waking up that the systems actually worked ... We are still going to suffer a lot with this lot in this country. Heaven help us please!

  • TheDon - 2011-10-11 15:43

    Ask the UK whether their NHS is working. The answer is no, so unfortunately as a realist the likelihood that our vesion will be any better is zero.

      Scorpion - 2011-10-11 15:53

      @ TheDon The NHS is working due to the fact that everybody pays towards it so everyone benefits. I cannot complain or fault it at all after seeing the level of care my sister is receiveng as a cancer sufferer. It is top notch. It makes me sick to see how much I was paying in SA for a medical aid.

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-11 15:53

      Agreed - some NHS hospitals are worse than SA's government hospitals - shocking statement, but true. Do women in SA's hospitals give birth in the car park due to lack of beds, or have the ceiling burst open and maggots fall on them during a procedure? Do SA hospitals tell you to bring your own towels and soap because they can't afford any? Do thousands die of MRSA here due to poor hygiene? Agreed TheDon - NHS was a good idea but a total failure.

      Scorpion - 2011-10-11 16:01

      @Matt You got serious issues with the land of you birth man. What you are describing of UK hospitals is so far fetched and will probably be what SA's hospitals will be like should they go the NHS route. Thousands die due to poor hygiene? WTF!!

      DW - 2011-10-11 16:10

      Matt my sister is a South African born midwife in the UK - working in the NHS hospitals. She works damn hard and does not agree with your assessment of the healthcare system. It is not perfect, but certainly better than anything our government can put together.

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-11 16:12

      @ Scorpion - Oh but it's not far fetched - those are stories that were reported in the news about 3 years back. Or try booking to see a GP, official average waiting time 2 days for an appointment but in reality 1-2 weeks. Add to this the burden that because it's all free, nobody appreciates it - people make appointments, don't go and don't bother cancelling because there's no penalty or reason to do so. Or what of the dire shortage of beds that patients are kept in the hallways and yes, even in the street in the example I mentioned! What of waiting lists that are so long (even longer than 5 YEARS) that patients even die while waiting for their life-saving procedure? What of an ambulance service so poor, and so bogged down by having to help drunks getting hurt in the street, that response times are terrible? In one case a man died after waiting 9 HOURS, it would've been quicker for his son in Spain to fly back and give him a lift! And yes, THOUSANDS every year succumb to MRSA. NHS - Good idea, but terribly underfunded, costs escalating and seriously abused (most patients are in with self-inflicted injuries). Also, UK nurses are in huge shortfall because no Pom wants to work 12-hour shifts for minimum wage. Hence they get loads of nurses from SA, Zim, Botswana, Philippines who WILL do it - they even had an HIV scare because of all the Zim/Bots nurses with HIV, but hey they were desperate for staff...

      Megan - 2011-10-11 16:13

      Scorpion... Matt is actually correct. The NHI in the UK is failing, and failing fast! There are far more incidents of deaths relating to superbugs (caused by poor hygiene standards) in the UK than there are here. It is very common for people requiring life changing (not necessarily life-saving although I do personally know of one incident where the family friend ended up dying, and I'm also not refering to cosmetics)treatment where they have to wait for a minimum of 6-8 months. UK citizens who can afford it usually seek medical treatment for long term illnesses in other countries, including but not limited to South Africa. While I am glad that your sister is receiving excellent care for her cancer treatment, thanks to the NHI MY sister almost lost her eye sight for good had it not being for the fact that we were able to get enough funding together for her to come back here for the proper treatment which she then received in time. I'm sure there are some aspects of the UK's NHI that we could learn a few lessons from. Other than that, don't kid yourself, it is not uncommon knowledge that one of the issues the UK government is currently dealing with is trying to decide how to save their NHI.

      jeremy - 2011-10-11 16:15

      Matt and TheDon, you're wrong, both of you. The NHS isn't perfect and there are long queues for elective procedures. And a few have died to MRSA, but certainly not thousands. What you're describing is cetainly more likely to be happening in our own public health care system rather than the NHS

      Scorpion - 2011-10-11 16:36

      Suit your selves megan and matt, but I will take the NHS anyday over any South African money making Racket of a hospital or Medical aid.

      GS - 2011-10-11 16:39

      I bet you've never been to an NHS hospital and I wouldn't be surprised if you've never even been to the UK. I've had better care through the NHS than I had in SA at private hospitals. NHS is not perfect but it works and it works for everyone.

      Scorpion - 2011-10-11 16:52

      I Agree Totally GS.

      I_ARE_BABOON - 2011-10-11 16:57

      Matt - you're talking stront. My ex-flatmate is from Gambia on a student visa, not even a citizen. She got very aggressive blood cancer whilst here and the level of treatment and support she received was astonishing. I visited here in hospital numerous times, ok its not Panorama in the Cape but its far far better than any government hospital in South Africa. Shes alive and well today due to the excellent treatment she received there and she didnt pay a cent.

      dithala - 2011-10-11 20:08

      You stupid don, we are not the UK are we? and you and I knows why NHS is failing at the moment.Let me tell you if you are not informed. 1. The first reason is David and his crew, Magaret did the same when she got in office. 2. Recession forced even the UK private sector to drop their standards and many people lost their jobs, remember what happened to the NHS TRUST. But their failure will never describe our success or failure, we have the potential to go an extra mile during tough times than the British.

      FM150 - 2011-10-11 23:16

      Utter BS man! My mom suffers from cancer but fortunatly married to a Engilshman and the NHS is brilliant. But the truth is, all the NHS which is succesfull are implemented by "westerns" so doubt the RSA will go the succesful way

      moiraine - 2011-10-12 22:18

      @Matt, have you been to many government hospital in South Africa to compare? Those issues are happening here on a daily basis. Do women in SA' hospitals give birth in the car park? - more than one woman &/or has died after being turned away from clinics and hospitals whilst in labour Do SA hospitals tell you to bring your own towels and soap because they cant afford any? Yes, and linen, food, kettles, medical consumables, basic medication too Do thousands die of MRSA due to poor hygiene? Hard thing to say because most of our patients probably die of AIDS before they get a chance to get MRSA. But yes, it is round and we also like klebsiella, but our speciality is assaulting patients and raping doctors Does the ceiling burst open? They dont have ceilings to fall in in many of the hospitals Waiting for an ambulance - sometimes they never pitch and of course you run the ris that they will leave the door open and you will be thrown out the back. There are waiting lists in all government institutions, in fact one of our hospitals here stopped doing all booked procedures because of the trauma/AIDS they just didnt have facilities to do any. Babies go to casualty with diarrhoea and the moms are told to bring them back when they arent passing urine, people die in the queue in casualty waiting to be seen, Having worked in the NHS I am not saying it is perfect at all, there are many issues, waiting lists being one of them. But there is also a LOT of good in the NHS.

  • Met - 2011-10-11 15:43

    SAs private health care system is a monster that will swallow us whole" the min says. The ANC regime is already a monster and has ALREADY swallowed most of the country.

  • erazor - 2011-10-11 15:43

    The NHI will be the monster that devours us whole. Yes, health is a right, but it comes with the responsibility to lead a healthy life.

  • Nawe - 2011-10-11 15:44

    Best health minister in the world.

      DeonL - 2011-10-11 15:51

      Ha Ha, yes doctors are flocking to SA to work in our hospitals? He won't be able to make NHI work without doctors.

      chris van rensburg - 2011-10-11 16:06

      It is not the way you talk!It is the way you walk!!The minister should be judged on what he has achieved and on what brilliant ideas he has for the future of SA'shealth care system.He is just a talker and do nothing but to collect a nice pay cheque at the end of the month.They called old mininister Koornoff PietPromises because he always promised and did nothing,but this guy is not even promising us anything, just critisizing and may be busy with a self fulfilling prophecy about the monster that will swallow us whole.What is he doing about this possibility?Please do not blame it on apartheid when it happens.Nobody but you will be blamed.

      Cheq - 2011-10-11 16:52

      @Nawe Damn I thought there would be no EYEDTENTEES left in this forum and there I identified clever chappie....Guess u don't need Discovery dumb@$$

  • Rob - 2011-10-11 15:45

    Yes Apartheid was also the reason Hilter murdered millions of Jews and believe it or not it was also the reason a meteorite hit the earth millions of years ago and wiped out the dinosaurs. And 1 more thing it caused was the Tsunami. Just in case you never knew.

      Pepsi20 - 2011-10-13 16:16

      wow you are completely oblivious!

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-10-11 15:46

    Funny how it's not a monster when Manto and JuJu needed healthcare :/

      bill - 2011-10-11 15:50

      or when manto jumped the queue for a liver which she drank to death.

  • Succubus - 2011-10-11 15:46

    I'm not convinced that health care is a basic human right. In this physical universe, there is a universal law that permeates all of existence, which is that of survival of the fittest. Biological organisms are born into the physical world with a living body that needs to be maintained and kept healthy. In nature, if an organism fails to fulfill the responsibility of taking care of its self, it dies. In nature there are no excuses, no mercy for those living creatures who fail to learn how to survive, regardless of whether its even there fault or not. The universe has no emotion, no sense of pity or empathy. The universe has only the laws of physics and biological function. Humans how ever, have emerged, and as with everything, we meddle with the natural forces of existence. The rest of the universe says, regardless of your excuses, if you fail to take care of your self, for any reason be it your fault or not, will die. But humans seem to believe that they know better that the universe, and we say, even if you are to week to take care of your self, we going to help you stay alive because its some kind of human right to have access to health care. Health care is not a human right, its a set of expensive survival tools available to those who have learned how to make enough money to afford them. Learning to make enough money to take care of your body is not a right, its a consequence of the degree to which one exercises their natural sense of survival.

      Enigma - 2011-10-11 15:53

      Well said! God helps those who helps themselves. Pre 1994 the public health system worked fine. Now, sorry to say, it does not look so good.

      Wake_up_SA - 2011-10-11 16:09

      Right on, but like in nature you get organisms that are parasites, they latch onto a good health organism and proceed to suck the life out of it, they have no use other than to suck up everything they latch onto. A parasite is a pathetic organism that will never be able to fend for itself, just plead poverty and blame apartheid, rather just like the black settlers in this country who killed of the Koi-San.

      I_ARE_BABOON - 2011-10-11 16:19

      Survivalist nonsense. Social Darwinism is a dominant ideological theme and it is the bedfellow of the profit motive. The medical industry is loath to give up its right to charge R300 for a swab and it will find many ways to justify its right to charge patients vastly inflated prices for the most simplest of items. Any move to provide a good free healthcare system will be fought tooth and nail by the corporations and they will use the dirtiest tricks in order to win.

      dave_23 - 2011-10-11 16:32

      The problem with "health care" as a "right" is that it requires the work of others in order to make you healthy - doctors and nurses must do actual work, researchers must do actual work figuring out medicine, drug companies must do actual work producing drugs. If you make healthcare a legal "right", what you are effectively doing is saying that doctors, drug manufacturers etc. must all be forced at gunpoint to help someone - you are compelling someone to do work for others by force. That used to be called "slavery". It is like saying that you have a right to force the doctor to work for you. This is different from, say, a "right" to self-defense, in which nobody is literally compelled by force to protect you. The difference is sometimes called 'positive rights' vs 'negative rights' in rights theory.

      I_ARE_BABOON - 2011-10-11 16:44

      dave_23, yet in places like the UK and in fact most of Europe, South America and Asia highly skilled nurses, doctors, surgeons, consultants etc. are all "slaving away" quite happily with your metaphorical gun to their heads. And guess what? The sky hasnt fallen and the world keeps on turning. And its great not having to worry whether my medical insurance will refuse to cover me in the event of something happening to me.

  • nosiphom - 2011-10-11 15:49

    One thing all of you commenting here and rubbishing the Minister should remember is the following: Private health care likes you as long as you have money. Once they have sucked your medical aid entitlement to the limit and you still need further care, we will see you at Chris Hani Bara. Just hope and pray that either (a) you always recover well before your medical aid money is exhausted or (b) you die before the money runs out, then your m,emories of private health care will always be good.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-11 16:11

      Too true...Private healthcare are bloodsucking leeches.

      dave_23 - 2011-10-11 16:34

      So what is stopping the government from making Bara a well-run hospital? Is somebody forcing them not to run it well?

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-11 15:50

    I fully agree with Dr Motsoaledi. Best of luck.

  • MagdaKus - 2011-10-11 15:50

    What utter nonsense! My cousin working in Eastern Cape in PUBLIC health sector claims posts remain unfilled while the disorganized management waits for black appointees (or for some reason ones from other 3rd world countries). Private hospitels are prepared to pay correct salaries, and are not fussed about race. Yes right- bring everything down to your incompetent level (this is not a rascist comment, just saying the Department is using irrevelant criteria).

  • Free2be - 2011-10-11 15:51

    Yes....blame it on the apartheid government. What has this government done in the past 17yrs of freedom? Please tell me what their plans are? It's easy to point fingers. When you reject students who have all the desire in the world to study to be a dr, as well as 8 matric distinctions...Where do these students go....overseas. Maybe we need to start looking at the students the varsity's are turning away due to colour...and rather focus on giving everyone a chance to study medicine if they fit the entrance criteria REGARLESS of RACE!!!

      eh eh eh - 2011-10-11 16:32

      Nice one Aaron with your sub human utterances! It must be comforting as a national minister knowing that you can f^ck up the way you do and then blame it on apartheid. Just think about it, if we all had that privilege. How fundamentally different you bunch are!

  • coal24 - 2011-10-11 15:51

    Actually Motsoaledi , public health care is the "monster" and "brutal". Just ask the unfortunate public that has to deal with it.Crony TENDERS THAT GO TO PEOPLE LIKE MALEMA'S COUSIN!!You are a bunch of useless thieves.

  • CTatheist - 2011-10-11 15:52

    It's more like a corporate rippoff scam.

      Ngqeku - 2011-10-11 16:47

      Its a cruel, capitalistic sytem that robs people including the medical aid schemes that protect this sytem. Its a ripoff. We must just get this NHI working properly then this will be history

      Oboa - 2011-10-13 08:33

      Bgqeku, calm down! You WILL get your AIDS medication, don't worry.

  • Christok - 2011-10-11 15:53

    Unbelievable - why not allow those who actually want to study medicine to do so. I know of so many people who apply but get declined, why? It is not that their marks are not good enough they just are turned away and end up doing they don't actually have a passion for

  • woutieboutie - 2011-10-11 15:53

    Send Julias Malema and the minister of health to a public hospital (without admitting them under their real names) and see what they get! then they will sing a different tune. They know they would not have to go to public hospitals unlike their comrades! There are no doctors left in this country because of statements like this!

  • Loreley - 2011-10-11 15:54

    And very soon the last of the remaining "quality" doctors will leave South Africa as well.

  • DW - 2011-10-11 15:54

    "People think I am mad, but the healthcare system wasn't always this way. Our shortage [in medical staff] is self-created" - Absolutely right. Not only a shortage of medical doctors (many who have left the country) but nursing staff too. There used to be nursing training colleges just like teacher training colleges. I am open to correction, but I think our wonderful government closed these down too. However our private hospitals DO rip us off shockingly. They make massive profits and, although they say their prices are driven by market forces, it is an artificial market. If our government hospitals were up to scratch, there would be real competition. Under the apartheid system I had absolutely not qualms about using a government hospital whatsoever. Yes there were white wards and non-white wards (as well as white entrances and non-white entrances) but the quality of care in ALL the wards was the same. I was studying Occupational Therapy at the time and worked in Garankuwa Hospital and in the non-white section of the then Hendrik Verwoerd Hospital doing my practicals. There was NO difference between the quality of care to the white wards. The nurses had their own training college as well and did their practicals in whatever ward they were allocated to. Fix the government hospitals and you will not have the crazy pricing structures in private hospitals.

  • Brett - 2011-10-11 15:55

    The state of our Health Care won't improve until capable managers are employed at the hospitals. It has become a death sentence to leave patients in the care of the nursing staff in the ICU units. Patients are dying while they chatter away. Any decent doctor just simply gets on a plane and goes somewhere where people take their jobs, specifically medical care, seriously. You can't run a country's health care with people that have no pride in their jobs. This is Africa, and Africa has a justification for every cultural luxury they practice, regardless of the consequences.

  • MattQ4 - 2011-10-11 15:56

    I don't know where this "health care is a human right" crap started? As far as I'm concerned the ONLY human right is to get what you deserve based on how hard you work and what you earn. If you can't afford something you don't get it.. simple!! You don't deserve ANYTHING in life other than the paycheck which you just earned and based on the work contract YOU agreed to... It seems to me that the bleeding heart liberals of the world can't get a grip on this whole "free market economy" thing...

  • Tolerant - 2011-10-11 15:57

    What nonsense this man is talking. This country is being eaten by fat polititians, not private healthcare.

  • tripwire - 2011-10-11 15:57

    Bullsh&^ !! Check all the Spin to Make the Push for NHI seem ok. We are a 3rd world country for goodness Sake , even America cannot implement a National health care system , and you want me to believe a Corrupt , dumb government will do anything but steal and make promises/excuses to increase the rates every 6 months!

  • proudly - 2011-10-11 15:58

    He is only complaining because he hasent been receiving 'something'. The hospital system under the Appartheid regime was working just fine. It is you and your ANC that have not been planning. The only planning you understand is how to spend money on yourselves!

  • so mouse - 2011-10-11 15:59

    Why don't you say, South Africa' government is a monster, stuffing up all systems. If the state hospitals were managed like in the old South Africa, this would not have happened. But no, it's now run by idiot comrades. What did you expect? I agree that the private hospitals is a monster, but first fix your incompentancy.

  • Alan - 2011-10-11 16:00

    Well - I have to agree with one comment he made - "People will think I am mad...". Eish - The Govt. has stuffed up every single thing it has got it's corrupt and greedy little hands on, and now they want to run healthcare???? Well - let them. The rest of us that work our backsides off providing SA with the revenue that the Govt. uses and abuses choose to have a level of healthcare that actually works, and we pay for it. If you dont like the healthcare that our Govt provides.. vote for another Govt. We have provided the Govt with the taxes for an efficient healthcare service... but greed and corruption got in the way. Plonkers

  • NV - 2011-10-11 16:00

    South Africa's private healthcare system is a monster that will swallow the country whole...but in comparison to stupidity it's a relative small monster.

  • pop101 - 2011-10-11 16:01

    How to get these doctors back is the million dollar question...why not look at how the apartheid government achieved this. Now that would be ironic.

      Tolerant - 2011-10-11 16:20

      He want's to destroy Private health and think the doctors will come to work for him. Fat chance, they will go oversease.

  • Daveza - 2011-10-11 16:02

    Julius and Tony seem more than happy to use the health monster. Or do you want them to go to..... a government hospital...

  • Bart Zimzon - 2011-10-11 16:04

    wash that chicken fat off your hands before you speak to us again, you pseudo-monster !!

  • Adrian - 2011-10-11 16:05

    The minister's a fool - or worse still - he thinks we're fools. The NHS will be a disaster! They can't run a primary school, how on earth will they run an efficient health system? Make sure you retain your membership of your own medical aid. They are driven by a profit motive and know if they don't perform up to an acceptable level their members will simply go elsewhere. With a useless NHI system where do you go when it doen't work? Don't believe in fairytales. The NHI will help no-one.

  • dave_23 - 2011-10-11 16:05

    Motsoaledi's own department has for years been blocking the development of over 50 new private clinics and hospitals, LITERALLY directly creating the shortage that has driven up medical costs, that he is complaining about. That said, compared with international norms, our health costs aren't really out of line at all, in fact much of our private healthcare is cheaper than many first world countries while being first world quality. Claiming it is some "monster" "swallowing the country" is ridiculous inaccurate hyperbole - it's blatant lying. The system is working fine. The only sore points are the state-run hospitals, but then, that's Motsoaledi's department, why doesn't he fix those first?

  • Pixie1984 - 2011-10-11 16:06

    It's still alot cleaner and better managed then the crappy government hospitals. I don't want to die from a secondary infections picked up there because of poor hygiene and uneducated people doing procedures. I'll happily pay for my medical aid thanks.

      witboy - 2011-10-11 17:04

      there is nothing wrong with most goverment hospitals you should try them you have to wait but they help you. Most people have a problem with these hospitals but you will be pleseantly supprised

  • jakkals - 2011-10-11 16:06

    Fix and manage the the damn hospitals properly and educate doctors IRRESPECTIVE of their skin color.

      Brett - 2011-10-11 16:13

      True Jakkals. Just ask the universities what the acceptance criteria are for black and white. When you dying and you are black would you care if the doctor happens to be white?

      jakkals - 2011-10-11 16:42

      I know what the criteria is, Brett. My partner wanted to go into a medical direction, but was not accepted because of his skin color. I still wonder how many students, with full bursaries, actually finish their degrees and how many of them actually then stay in SA to practice. SA should stop looking to correct and blame the past. All races should work together and make a future for this rapidly deteriorating country.

  • PRKER - 2011-10-11 16:07

    **yawn** - just another despicable madness filled story in order to get hold of money from our pockets to support those that the ANC led government hasn't looked after. Like... EVERY SOUTH AFRICAN but themselves. They're ruining this country before they lose power.

  • Onestone - 2011-10-11 16:07

    mmm.... have you tried managing it correctly without being corrupted?

      jakkals - 2011-10-11 16:37

      That's just it. Kick the lazy, incompetent and corrupt officials out. Punt, stop, finish and klaar. That alone will make a huge difference. Then again, isn't it the same story of all state departments? It is the same problem all over and yet the solution is so simple.

  • Tanith Oram - 2011-10-11 16:07

    I think the shortage of qualified doctors may have something to do with people immigrating to greener pastures?

  • Alan - 2011-10-11 16:08

    Gosh AAron - even Juju couldnt use the public healtcare system when he went to hospital with a virus. Bye the way, anybody heard how the virus is doing? Hope it recovers soon.

  • wheazel - 2011-10-11 16:08

    Unfortunately people can't be forced against their will. If the public sector just maybe had some basic things in place like safety, some would consider returning. Doctors get assaulted & raped in the provincial hospitals. Blaming the white settler for that too.???

  • tripwire - 2011-10-11 16:08

    Everybody steal and make a bugger up, WE are still SAFE with the Apartheid Card !!! Woohhoooo !

  • tripwire - 2011-10-11 16:11

    What they are stating is much like stating: A business gets a NEW owner Runs it for almost 20 Years , he and his people steal and bugger it up into a UNRuly MESS and then says to his customers ... Isssh that Owner that Died 20 Years ago really Makes us Suffer today

  • RealInfo - 2011-10-11 16:11

    No, she's got it wrong. Private healthcare is NOT a monster that will swallow the country whole. Private healthcare has taste - it recently spat out Malema.

  • muttlet - 2011-10-11 16:13

    So I take it the Health Minister relies on Government hospitals.

  • Mlu - 2011-10-11 16:14

    Dr Minister, please explain how private health care is a monster. Implement the NHI and you will see the real monster.