Sunday, 25 February, 2024
HomeNews UpdateOpposition calls for Free State Health to be placed under national control

Opposition calls for Free State Health to be placed under national control

The opposition [b]Democratic Alliance[/b] threatened to approach the [b]Constitutional Court[/b] to force the [b]Free State[/b] provincial government to guarantee quality health care for the province and to enforce national health standards, [s]Volksblad[/s] reports. The party’s Wilmot James said they would first ask Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi to intervene and place the province’s [b]Health Department[/b] under administration. 'If Motsoaledi fails to do so within a reasonable time, the DA will approach the Constitutional Court,' James is quoted as saying. The DA's action was launched after a two-day visit to the province's health facilities.

About 100 protestors took to the streets last week to demand the expansion of [b]Daveyton Main Clinic[/b] and an end to recurring HIV drug stock outs. [s]Health-e[/s] reports that the protest is the second in two years and was organised by the [b]Treatment Action Campaign[/b]. Following a 2013 protest, former [b]MEC for Health[/b] Hope Papo vowed to expand the small 24-hour clinic, which serves five heavily populated wards surrounding the [b]East Rand[/b] township. But patients are complaining about health workers’ poor attitudes and that a shortage of space means they are often left queuing outside. The says the clinic also still experiences shortages of treatment, especially antiretrovirals.

According to [b]Campaigning for Cancer[/b], drug shortages across the country are common, reports [s]The Times[/s]. Since January, the [b]Stop Stock Outs Project[/b] has received 200 reports of shortages of medicine, including shortages of HIV drugs at [b]Leratong Hospital[/b], west of [b]Johannesburg[/b]. ‘People die every day because of stock-outs,’ said project spokesperson Bella Huang. She said a lack of accountability, financial mismanagement, and a paper-based clerical system were to blame. According to the project’s records, there have been about 100 reports of HIV medications being out of stock across the country since the beginning of the year. [b]SA Medical Association Trade Union[/b] spokesperson Phophi Ramathuba said, however, that sometimes the suppliers were to blame.

[b]Gauteng ANC[/b] heavyweight Brian Hlongwa is facing multiple charges of corruption and money laundering related to two [b]Health Department[/b] tenders worth over R1.4bn. [s]The Sunday Independent[/s] reports that the former MEC for Health in Gauteng, has emerged as a central figure in the tender scandal – it is alleged he received kickbacks from two firms. The report says the [b]National Prosecuting Authority’s[/b] court action this is the culmination of four years of investigating by the [b]Special Investigating Unit[/b] and the [b]Hawks[/b]. Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko declined to disclose who the criminal proceedings would target first but the report quote task team sources as saying that Hlongwa is top of the list. The detail of the alleged schemes is fleshed out in the [s]Mail & Guardian[/s], which says in 2008, the joke around the office water cooler, as it were, was that a large part of the money spent by the [b]Gauteng Health Department[/b], amounting to billions, constituted a fundraising exercise for the [b]ANC[/b]. And the chatter was that election battles were being fought with the proceeds.

[link url=]Full Volksblad report[/link]
[link url=]Full Health-e report[/link]
[link url=]Full report in The Times[/link]
[link url=]Full Iol report[/link]
[link url=]Full Mail & Guardian report[/link]

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