The Democratic Alliance(DA) said on Thursday that South Africa’s healthcare system was teetering on the brink of total collapse.
DA national spokesperson Refiloe Nt’sekhe said their oversight inspection #HospitalHealthCheck campaign outlined the state of the public health system in the country.
During a briefing at the DA offices in the east of Johannesburg, North West shadow MEC Dr Tutu Faleni said: “The state of buildings are in disrepair […] and there’s understaffing.”
Faleni blamed these issues on poor governance by the ANC government.
KwaZulu-Natal shadow MEC Dr Imran Keeka said KZN health care was also in a crisis, with one of the biggest problems being lack of accountability. He said the MEC who was found to have violated human rights was still heading the department and might be the next premier of the province.
Keeka said rats were seen feeding on a corpse at one of the hospitals and at another hospital, monkeys were seen throwing stones at doctors through the roof.
“There’s a shortage of chronic medication – and the minister denies this – a shortage of vaccines and broken equipment. KZN has vacancies for staff amounting to over 8 000.”
Keeka added there were a number of medical buses that cost millions that couldn’t be used because of licensing issues.
Limpopo shadow MEC Langa Bodlani added that management at the province’s hospitals was in chaos and that before any medication could be bought, some outstanding bills still needed to be paid.
“Two mothers and unborn babies need to share a bed. In other hospitals, we found they didn’t have a panado painkiller for babies, and it has been going on for months.”
Gauteng shadow MEC Jack Bloom said the R46-billion Gauteng budget was poorly spent.
“Any delay in cancer treatment can result in death. The budget is so badly spent that we have broken machinery, and they could get more capital spending if they could prove that they could spend it. In Tembisa there are patients on the floor.”
Bloom said that almost all the hospitals in Gauteng had broken equipment.
“You would’ve thought after Esidimeni they would see the warning signs, they don’t plan.”
Nt’sekhe said it was a disgrace that patients were given rotten food in Limpopo.
“The money is there, but it’s not used properly, the Western Cape has the best running health system, and is run by the DA.”
The DA said they had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to establish a judicial commission of inquiry and that a change in government was what South Africa needed.