The FF Plus foresees difficult times ahead for our country’s health sector after Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, former MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal, was elected as chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Health during the Committee’s first meeting.
Dr Dhlomo’s departure from the position of MEC in KwaZulu-Natal earlier this year was welcomed by opposition parties. While in office, he seemed to move from one crisis to the next. His “Make Me Look Like A Hospital” programme failed and he blamed the hospital management when it could not be implemented.
The programme was aimed at giving the public and hospital staff a voice so as to improve hospitals.
Dr Dhlomo is also known as the one responsible for the collapse of KwaZulu-Natal’s health care services. According to reports, hospitals were dirty and did not have the basic linen. On top of that, people died under strange circumstances in these hospitals.
An estimated R9 billion was lost in his Department due to the contraction of the budget. His term as MEC was characterised by poor political leadership and poor budgeting. Hospital pharmacies were poorly stocked and according to reports, one pharmacy had only 117 items on the shelves at one stage.
On 2 July 2019, the FF Plus opposed Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s nomination as Portfolio Committee chairperson by voting for the opposition’s nomination. The ANC’s nomination, however, won by six votes to the opposition parties’ four votes. The EFF did not vote.
The FF Plus wants to see the terrible circumstances in our country’s hospitals turned around. The Minister must also give an indication of how he plans to save the Department of Health from sinking ever deeper into the pit of corruption and poor service delivery.
The corrupt officials and former MECs who are responsible for the collapse of the country’s health care services must be held accountable.
The FF Plus is worried that the ANC’s nomination of Dr Dhlomo was part of a plan to sweep these kinds of malpractices under the carpet seeing as the newly elected chairperson himself brought about the downfall of his Department and then departed amid great controversy.
During the next five years, the FF Plus will keep fighting in the Portfolio Committee to ensure that justice prevails for the next of kin of the people who passed away in the hospitals under mysterious circumstances and to make sure that the public gets the health care it deserves.
We can no longer allow hospitals to be run like abattoirs and mortuaries. We must ensure that those who are sick are provided with proper health care and the medicine they need.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Philip van Staden on FF Plus
This report does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SA news.