Action needed over SA health care

2019-06-26 06:02

ACQUIRING proper health care is essential if one seeks to prolong one’s life, and this is an area in which South Africa needs to improve.

Proper health care cannot be bestowed on the sick without the government providing a welcoming environment and ensuring that all health-care professionals are operating according to ethical principles, whether the facility is private or not.

Speaking of ethical principles, it seems as if some of our health-care professionals keep forgetting their code of conduct.

The foremost principle of health care is “first do no harm”. Thus, every patient has a right to assume that their health-care providers are actively seeking their good.

But in the case of Martha Marais (76), who was found lying on a tiled floor and tied to a bench at the Mamelodi Hospital, this rule was totally ignored.

Why is this? There seems to be a never-ending trend of patients being treated as if they do not have a right to health care.

Apart from health-care professionals being unprofessional, another problem with our health-care facilities is the lack of certain infrastructure to make them a bit more welcoming. And little has been done to improve some health-care facilities.

The money allocated to health care is just not enough or it is not being put to good use.

There is no surveillance being done to evaluate the suitability of a health-care worker to carry out certain duties in order to improve the functioning of our health-care systems; and there has been a continuous positioning of ministers who fail to improve these health-care facilities during their tenure.

Government hospitals are among the dirtiest places in our country. There is no cleanliness and few medicines, while large amounts of money are allocated by the government to hospitals.

There is large-scale embezzlement and fraud in hospitals, and a very small proportion of the money is spent on the hospitals.

Much of the money allotted to these hospitals goes into the pockets of officials.

The government and concerned authorities should look into the matter and make arrangements to ensure the proper treatment of patients and deal with the theft of hospital funds.

MARIAM BALLIM

Isipingo

Durban

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