Mixed reaction to health strategy

2011-10-12 21:57

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.

  • letsee - 2011-10-12 22:37

    The ANC government has so far proved unable to implement a decent health care and hospital services. In fact the whole system got worse and worse over the last 15 years. What's the point of increasing staff supplement and talking about a new health care system is there is management capacity? What's the point in blaming the private sector (which indeed charges a furtune and makes unacceptable high profits) if the ANC government can't offer a decent alternative?

      AfrikaTsoga - 2011-10-13 08:34

      @Letsee, I couldn't agree with more. The government hospitals are so bad that people are not willing to risk their lives but opt to rather pay exorbitant amounts to private hospitals and this is justified by the heinous service the government health offers. So effectively the government has plotted their own downfall and unfortunately we have to pay for it. Private health has no competition in government and until then let's learn to live with the demand and supply economic implications that pushes private health costs high. AfricaArise!

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-13 02:07

    Uhm I hate to point out to you that the enormous profit Is not really that big. Remember we all pay tax so the government gets their cut. Some 50% of a cut. Which makes their prediction of the private sector earn 80% of GDP complete hogwash. Just more spin doctoring and brainwashing. I know doctors who can't afford new cars. Not even a baseline polo.

  • mac-sdi - 2011-10-13 08:37

    Increase the number of Med students, improve the current hospitals, provide medication to the rural dwellers, attract private practitioners BUT DONT MESS WITH THE PRIVATE HOSPITALS..! The y are well resources, competent and well managed. Perhaps drive their costs down. coz some ae just inflated ofr the sake of it

  • Ang - 2011-10-13 09:04

    Even without the NHI in place, the system could be improved immensely by rooting out corruption, putting in Hospital Managers and not ANC Cadres, improving level of service from the nurses etc etc THrowing money at the current problems is not going to improve anything at all, it is just going to increase the pot from which corrupt cadres can steal and prevent those of us who can just now afford private healthcare from not being able to afford it any further. I have no problem with a NHI solution, but NOT with the ANC running it!! They will steal it blind and reduce employment even further as the private healthcare system will suffer and the public healthcare system will be exactly the same as it is now, only with the money going into the ANC Cadres back pockets!! F*(#%*#$ Thieving EVIL b@st@rds who steal from their own people!!!

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