Health MEC vows no-nonsense approach

2013-05-21 22:34

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Bloemfontein - A damning report on the condition of some Free State health facilities and services was presented to provincial health staff on Tuesday by newly-appointed MEC Benny Malakoane.

The MEC at the same time pulled in all financial responsibilities below that of district and hospital managers, as part of what he called a new "no-nonsense" approach to better health service delivery in the province.

"Revised financial delegations shall be issued by 30 June 2013," he told officials at Bophelo House.

"If you have not been given any delegation in writing, do consider that you do not have any."

The report came after unannounced visits by Malakoane to hospitals and clinics in the province and a re-evaluation of the department’s management.

It covers management aspects such as monthly and quarterly meetings not held on expenditure as stipulated by law, to ground level findings of patients urinating in hand basins at Bongani Hospital in Thabong, near Welkom.

Other findings include a lack of security at the provincial medical depot, which at times reports monthly losses of up to R100 000.

The inspection of ambulances revealed that "we are running a uniformed taxi service by people masquerading as competent emergency medical personnel in uniform".

Malakoane told staff ambulance accidents would from now on be fully investigated and not just reported as losses to the department.

He said in cases of negligence, financial losses would be recovered from individuals.

With regard to hygiene, Malakoane said staff cleaners and infection control personnel must be reined in to do their work.

The most unhygienic hospitals found on the visits were Manapo Hospital in Phuthaditjhaba, Bongani Hospital in Thabong, Dihklabeng Hospital in Bethlehem and Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad.

Malakoane said the department received the biggest grant allocation after Gauteng and the Western Cape, but these allocations did not show itself in local service delivery.

In terms of lack of health service delivery, the Free State was ranked in the top two positions, said the MEC.

"It is evident that the funding given to the department is not properly used," said Malakoane.

The MEC told staff that directives were given to managers with very definite time frames to rectify transgressions found on inspection.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  politics  |  health

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