Bad nurses and doctors will be named and shamed by the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) as the red berets make the state of public healthcare in South Africa a focus area of 2018‚ the opposition party is quoted in The Times as saying.
“We shall attend to each and every clinic and hospital in our country to ensure that there are facilities‚ skilled staff‚ medicine‚ and a caring environment that treats our people with dignity‚” the EFF said after a strategy planning session over the weekend. “We resolve to establish a public healthcare office that will receive daily complaints from our people. We shall ensure to respond to all complaints received in a space of 48 hours.
“We shall expose all public health institutions that are in a bad condition. We shall name and shame nurses‚ doctors and all health practitioners who are involved in negligence‚ corruption‚ and humiliation of our people.”
According to the report, the EFF said its decision was motivated by collapsing infrastructure and inadequate staffing in the public health sector. “Our public health institutions have no basic facilities‚ buildings are collapsing‚ machines are broken and there are no skilled healthcare practitioners. The elderly in our country no longer want to go to hospital because of the abuse they receive. The HIV and Aids patients are openly called in queues to receive medication‚ humiliating them and thus adding to the stigmatisation of HIV and Aids. There is no care given to hygiene; our clinics and hospitals are capitals of pests‚ rats‚ pollution and are generally unclean‚ whilst some of our public healthcare facilities do not have water‚ electricity and sanitation‚” it charged.
Commenting on the number of nursing vacancies in the country‚ the EFF said “the consequence of this skills shortage is that 60% of nurses are too tired to work on duty”.
The report says the EFF also demanded special care for the infirm. “We demand that bedridden patients who are in their homes receive regular visits and have their medication delivered to their homes. This must be done in the same way the IEC visits them during special votes; if they can be special for votes‚ they must also be special for healthcare.”
Community healthcare workers‚ the EFF added‚ should be employed on a permanent basis with a minimum wage of no less than R4‚500.
Public healthcare services were better during apartheid than they are now under the ANC government, News24 reports that EFF leader Julius Malema has claimed. Malema was referring to what he called a “national health crisis”, which, he said, the EFF is planning to expose.
The report says he explained how a functioning clinic in Limpopo, built during apartheid, was closed down by the current government. “The EFF in my ward, marched day in and out to demand that that clinic must be opened and then when we say to you apartheid was better than these people, you think we are exaggerating.
“We are speaking to the practical things that we see. Here is a clinic under apartheid, functioning, democracy comes, the clinic has collapsed… Now they are playing gambling (sic).”