Healthcare in the Eastern Cape is on the verge of collapse. A lack of political and administrative leadership is 100% to blame for the need of the healthcare march planned for tomorrow by the Eastern Cape Healthcare Coalition. The ANC can no longer pull the wool over the eyes of the people of the Eastern Cape with half-hearted and false attempts of making things better.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) wholeheartedly shares the concerns and grievances raised by the coalition (made up of the Treatment Action Campaign, Section 27, the Democratic Nurses Association of South Africa and the Rural Doctor’s Association of South Africa). These are concerns raised time and time again by the DA in Health Portfolio Committee meetings and in sittings of the Provincial Legislature.
The department can no longer turn a blind eye to the fact that there is a shortage of over 15 000 professional nurses, 1200 medical doctors and hundreds of pharmacists to name just a few of the desperately needed clinical staff.
As the situation currently stands, the department can’t even properly pay the existing critical clinical staff, with well over R150 million in outstanding monies still owed to them. How can we expect to recruit and retain more doctors, nurses and pharmacists if we cant even pay the existing ones?
There is a healthcare infrastructure backlog of over R22 billion, and with the minimal amount budgeted for maintenance, this backlog grows by about R800 million each year. Healthcare infrastructure includes buildings and essential equipment such as x-ray