OHSC must inspect cholera health facilities

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
29 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

The DA calls on the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC) to inspect the health facilities being overrun by cholera to ensure that they’re able to cope with the outbreak and to ascertain the Ideal Clinic-status of each facility.

Since this outbreak in Gauteng more than a week ago, 24 people have tragically died – 23 in Hammanskraal and one in the Free State – and the Jubilee District Hospital and other health facilities in Tshwane have treated almost 230 patients with diarrhoeal disease, of whom 48 were confirmed to have had cholera.

Given the terrible state of the country’s water infrastructure, it is crucial to determine whether the public health facilities in the frontlines have the necessary support to adequately deal with these and other outbreaks. In particular, the water infrastructure and quality of public health facilities need to be ascertained.

South Africa’s critical shortage of nurses is also a serious concern. Nurses are the first line of defence in community health, especially in a country where more than 80% of the population is reliant on the public health system – the DA will submit parliamentary questions to determine the vacancy rate of all the affected health facilities in the provinces.

Since the ANC bulldozed the destructive National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill through Parliament last week, it has become more important than ever to hold the national and provincial Departments of Health and hospital managements to account. Without transparent and indisputable information, the public health sector will continue its steady state of decline.