Sick,sick,sick.......the state of our ailing public health system

2013-11-20 08:37

Would I be wrong if I declared that we have a terminally ill state health system which somehow like Schabir Shaik and Jackie Selebi hangs in there against all odds? A front page report, in a nationally circulating morning newspaper on Tuesday 19.11.2013 reported a number of damages claims exceeding R 1 Billion for medical negligence against state hospitals. This is mind boggling as well as a travesty, if not signifying gross incompetence or dereliction of duty.

It shouldn't be. Government has allocated funds to various hospitals to procure much needed equipment and medical supplies. It shouldn't be, as we have adequate complement of trained medical and health personnel in most of those hospitals that I have visited.

The money is there and is available. So it begs the question, 'what the deuce is happening?' So patients who can be salvaged are sent die in obscurity, so the statistics doesn't look bad for the Minister.

This much I have observed in our local hospitals during one of my fact finding "assignments" and interacting with health professionals. We have an adequate number of health professionals but who are experiencing demotivation at the hands of apathetic managers. We have a prodigious health budget allocated to , for instance Addington Hospital, but that due to red tape and lengthy procedures concerning procuring supplies from reliable sources, people cannot do their job and are under such pressure that they are making mistakes bordering on negligence.

There is room for more health professionals to be employed and engaged to provide service comparable to private hospitals but I wonder why is it that Minister Aaron Motsaledi's office is not being proactive. In this moment of crisis, should government not relax its affirmative action policies that thus far has seen expertise fritting away to other countries?

I reiterate, there are funds available, but we don't seem to have the will to expedite the necessary with the result we are facing over R 1 billion in claims for alleged negligence, money that could be used to procure equipment and medicine necessary to avoid wastage of tax payers money.

As Dick Dastardly said to Mutley............(Aaron) dooooo something!

Saber Ahmed Jazbhay

follow me@jazlaw24


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