Please find an attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.
Despite the serious concerns raised by the public and various experts and the fact that the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has yet to be passed through Parliament, the deputy director-general for the Department of Health, Nicholas Crisp, revealed that 44 positions would be advertised for the NHI Scheme in August. Government has approved this travesty at a cost of R30 million, and plans to allocate more resources to in 2023/24 to fund a staff of 120 people.
This is a clear indication that the ANC intends to bulldoze the Bill through Parliament – the Health Department’s track record when it comes to public participation is atrocious. There is every indication that the ANC government yet again intends to ignore revelations from the DA, whistleblowers and the media.
After 27 years in power, the ANC has yet to learn to listen to the people. If the Department has R30 million to spend on salaries for an entity that does not exist yet, why does it not have money to maintain and improve existing public health facilities.
A recent oversight by the DA to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein revealed shocking conditions. The hospital suffers extreme shortages:
- It is 70% understaffed despite budget being set aside to hire more staff;
- There’s a significant lack of access to working computers, telephones and the internet;
- No new assets have been purchased in the last 5 years – the equipment is outdated or non-functioning;
- No neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or theatre was built, despite budget allocations 12 years ago;
- Necessary supplies must be sourced from other hospitals; and
- The lifts have been broken for 2 years.
It is deplorable that money can be so easily set aside for positions for an entity that does not exist yet, but State hospitals continue to wallow in horrific conditions without any help or oversight from government.
The sad truth is that many hospitals are in the same state with the ANC health officials doing nothing to make the working conditions more bearable for doctors and nurses, let alone the patients whose lives are on the line.
All South Africans deserve quality health care, and the DA supports universal health care in principle. But unless the ANC government fixes and maintains the current health care system, the NHI will be nothing but a cash cow for corrupt cadres. If the ANC truly cared about South Africans, it would not be forcing through the NHI Bill, which will only further ravage the country’s coffers.