The DA is requesting a meeting with the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, on the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) following revelations that staff are leaving en masse due to financial problems, writes Dr Wilmot James MP, DA shadow minister of health in a Politicsweb report.
Reports have revealed that 1,000 staff members, most of them highly experienced, have left over the past year, citing low staff morale exacerbated by the financial chaos at the NHLS. James said the DA will appeal to Motsoaledi to probe the mass staff exodus at the NHLS and institute measures to arrest these departures at this critical healthcare institution.
The NHLS is tasked with ensuring the provision of laboratory services to all health facilities in the public sector. But, James notes, the staggering amount of R4.5bn which is owed to the NHLS could threaten the organisation’s entire functioning, compromising its ability to provide diagnostic services with real life-and-death consequences.
He says the DA has further requested National Treasury to present before the Portfolio Committee on Health a recovery plan to recoup debt owed by the respective provinces before the close of the 2014/15 financial year. The DA will work towards ensuring that measures are put in place to protect the functioning of this critical institution, James says. Motsoaledi would do well to intervene and push for provincial health departments to pay their bills, he says.