RAF non-payment risks lives of victims in hospital building owned by President Ramaphosa

Issued by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP – DA Shadow Minister of Transport
12 Apr 2024 in News

Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Dr Chris Hunsinger MP.

Victims of traffic accidents are facing additional distress because the Road Accident Fund (RAF) has failed to make payments to their healthcare provider, Hospicare. Already management is scraping at the bottom of the barrel to fund patients’ basic needs.

Adding to the crisis, the DA can confirm that, Hospicare, which is currently unable to settle bills amounting to R21 million, has received an eviction notice from lawyers representing the building’s owner, President Ramaphosa.

The crisis reflects the severe financial difficulties that led to the closure of Sunshine Hospital in Gauteng in April 2023, which also resulted from the RAF’s failure to disperse due payments.

These healthcare facilities are vital. They enable the RAF to fulfil its constitutional responsibilities as they are obligated to provide the most disadvantaged with access to social security and essential healthcare services, including sub-acute, renal, and frail care.

These facilities already operate on very tight budgets when caring for patients. The failure of the RAF to make even one payment, even though approved by the SOE and National Treasury, therefore increases stress for everyone involved — from patients and doctors to cleaners — and could lead to the collapse of the entire entity.

Unlike emergency treatment centres, these facilities also lack the specific equipment needed to adequately address medical care for vehicle-related injuries. Many patients require specialised medication, which cannot be obtained because the RAF is not paying for it.

The situation worsens as communication breakdown persists. Promises made by the RAF are followed up with silence. The SOE’s laxity and financial mismanagement, coupled with their reluctance to engage with creditors, now imperil the welfare of patients and victims of accidents. The ANC government’s lack of response to victims potentially being left homeless must not be tolerated.

Rather than prioritising patient care and essential services, the President seems more focused on his personal interests as he continues to press for Hospicare’s rent payments instead of holding the RAF accountable. In doing so, patients, employees, and crucial services are relegated to secondary importance behind personal agendas.

It’s unacceptable that the RAF’s cash flow crisis has compromised patient welfare and hindered access to essential healthcare and treatment.

As the leader overseeing all SOEs, the President must be held accountable. The DA will write directly to him and demand his intervention in the RAF situation. The DA will not allow innocent lives to be at risk due to the prioritisation of personal interests over the effective management of state entities.