With a budget that is deficient by at least R3 billion, an exponentially growing infrastructure backlog of over R20 billion, essential clinical staff vacancy rate of almost 50% and doctors that are fleeing the province because of unpaid salaries, one can see why a call for national intervention would not be a surprise.
The reality of the matter is that the committee and Provincial Legislature has not exausted its oversight options and mandated ability to implement corrective measures. It is clear that the ANC politicians are scared of ANC officials within the Department of Health. Incompetent and corrupt officials are not held accountable, the MEC is known for being controlled by labour union leaders and over turning disciplinary findings against higher level labour members.
All that is needed to turn healthcare around in this province is strong political will.
As the political leaders of the province, we as members of the Eastern Cape Legislature must hold incompetent and corrupt officials accountable, we need to roll out competency assessments on all key officials, use this as a basis to streamline an excessively bloated administrative arm of the department, retain those that are able and willing to do their jobs properly, and fill the critical posts needed to deliver proper healthcare in the province. Once we have put our house in order, the only national intervention needed is financial assistance to hire more doctors and nurses and repair our failing healthcare infrastructure.
The national intervention recommended by the committee chairperson is a complicated process that will bring in officials and expensive consultants that will immediately be black-balled and blocked by existing officials protecting their own interests and thos of their buddies around them. This will be an expensive and excessively slow “solution” to the current problems why people in the community continue to die because of poor healthcare service delivery.
Sadly the only people that can save this province are the politicians, but the ANC politicians refuse to do so.
John Cupido, MPL