The Inkatha Freedom Party has urged KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu to act against health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo for his “failure to address certain health-related issues in the province, especially the shortage of medical staff”.
“The protest organised by the members of the South African Medical Association (Sama) in KwaZulu-Natal to raise their concerns about the crumbling infrastructure, broken equipment, and shortage of staff due to frozen posts and cost-cutting is evidence of what we have been championing for a long time but our concerns fell on deaf ears,” IFP spokesperson Ncamisile Nkwanyana said.
“Over the past months we’ve noted with great concern the excessive ineptitude of the MEC in the operational matters of the department which poses a lot of questions in as far as the competency and/or efficiency of his leadership role. The provision of quality basic healthcare services is essential if we are to offer all South Africans the opportunity to their lead healthy lives,” she said.
“The situation in KZN is very disturbing and I can see that the whole health system is on the verge of collapse. We must also caution that the situation is just a tip of the iceberg in as far as the unbearable medical staff vacancy rate is concerned.”
Unfortunately, this overloaded the few remaining patriotic medical practitioners who went beyond their contractual obligations of employment and were never appreciated in any way. The massive frustration was the “gravitas of the problems”. Many people were dying and others had their lives impaired because of the issues at hand.
No one was being held properly accountable for any poor service delivery or failed outcomes, Nkwanyana said.
“On this note we have patiently observed with displeasure the utterances of the department attributing its poor performance on the bad attitude of healthcare professionals. What worries us most is that such statements are made on media platforms.
“We do not wish to engage in public spats with the leadership of the department but we will not be silent when we see that the department is failing to fulfil its obligations. The MEC must start now to spend his department’s budget funding to address these challenges. There is no more time to play mind games and gamble with people’s lives.”
Given the failures of the KwaZulu-Natal health department, coupled with a lack of consequential management for those who worked hard to “make the stay of medical practitioners and other healthcare professionals an unpleasant one”, it should be noted that medical practitioners in the province had lost confidence in the health department and in particular health MEC Dhlomo.
“The IFP urges the KZN premier Willies Mchunu to stand up and break his silence on the failure by the department of health to address challenges facing our public institutions. He must show bold leadership against the MEC of health to make him to account for his failures. Our people are suffering in public healthcare facilities due to this but the premier is silent,” Nkwanyana said.
– African News Agency (ANA)