Health Minister’s delayed intervention in NW Health Department causes patients to lose their lives

Issued by Dr. Tutu Faleni – Democratic Alliance Spokesperson on Health
19 Apr 2018 in News

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the announcement made by the Health Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi, to call on the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist with the distribution of medicines in the collapsed North West Health Department.

However, the Minister’s announcement comes a little too late. In March, nearly a month ago, the DA wrote to the Minister asking him to intervene in resolving the complete collapse of the NW health Department but he failed to do so.

Since yesterday, residents in Mahikeng have barricaded the streets, burning busses, trucks, looting local shops and businesses and protesting.

This was triggered by among other things, the death of two patients who could allegedly not get medical help due to an ongoing strike by health workers.

Public departments, institutions, and businesses in Mahikeng are currently are closed, the DA has also learned that there are plans to spread the protests to Rustenburg.

The DA is convinced that had the Minister intervened timeously the unnecessary loss of lives at clinics and hospitals could have been avoided. The DA maintains that there might be more lives lost and not reported as a result of the collapse of the health services in the province.

The DA will in the upcoming days collect information on all people who have been negatively impacted and lost their lives due to the protracted strike in the public health facilities of the North West.

The DA will write to the Health Ombudsman, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, requesting him to investigate the loss of lives due to the collapse of health service in the province.

The people of North West need a better government that will bring Total Change by prioritizing the delivery of quality health services.