Secrecy bill ‘threat to healthcare’

2011-09-22 00:00

THE Protection of Information Bill is a threat to the delivery of quality healthcare, a conference was told yesterday.

In his presentation during a Hospital Association of South Africa (Hasa) conference in Cape Town yesterday, Old Mutual chairperson of social security, Professor Alex van den Heever, said reversing the failures of the public health sector, notably lack of accountability and “rent-seeking” activities, “can only be achieved by ruthlessly exposing the rent-seekers and implementing complete accountability frameworks”.

He explained that “rent-seeking is an activity targeted at governments which seeks to take advantage of the enormous influence governments have over the allocation of resources”.

“If the people who bring transparency [the media] are muzzled through the secrecy bill then we have fatality in the accountability framework. No public institution will be transparent to scrutiny should the bill be passed,” he said.

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