WC Health buckling under pressure from gang-related violence

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Gang-related violence and a R9bn cut in the budget is putting pressure on Western Cape Health resources, reports the Cape Times.

With 71 murders having been reported in the province over the past two weekends, overburdened hospitals are struggling to cope. To make matters worse, Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said at the signing of the Presidential Health Compact, the provincial budget has been reduced by R9bn over the past three years, which is impacting negatively on the provision of health services.

Treating a gunshot wounds could cost up to R25,000 per patient, she is quoted in the report as saying, which doesn’t include the length of stay in hospital and related medical intervention costs. The gang-related violence is also responsible for backlogs on post-mortems at mortuaries.

“The provincial budget cuts the health department has faced over the last three years has meant that the number of staff available at hospitals is less than the number of people who require medical services,” Mbombo said.

“When you look at bailouts that Treasury gives to state-owned enterprises, you’ll never hear of a bailout for the health department and, because of budget cuts, health facilities cannot afford to employ more people to assist with overburdened staff.”

According to the report, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde indicated that 46 people had been murdered over the weekend, which included 21 shootings and 20 stabbings, which is an increase from the 25 murders recorded the previous weekend.

 

Mbombo says more resources are needed to deal with the high crime and murder rate, reports News24. Asked about capacity to provide health care services to victims of crime, given that 71 murders were reported in the province over the past two weekends, Mbombo said hospitals across the province were “overburdened”, and had been inundated with requests from people requiring services.

“The provincial budget cuts the health department has faced over the last three years has meant that the number of staff available at hospitals is less than the number of people who require medical services,” the report quotes Mbombo as saying.

“When you look at bailouts that Treasury gives to state-owned enterprises, you’ll never hear of a bailout for the health department, and because of budget cuts, health facilities cannot afford to employ more people to assist with overburdened staff.”

She added that staff were “overburdened” and that “the cost involved in dealing with violence related health care is quite high”.

Cape Times report
News24 report

 

See also: Trauma surgeons in the midst of Cape Flats ‘bloody civil war’


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