The Health Budget Part 2

Following up on my blog posted on 9 May 2012, here are further comments from the function where Denise Robinson MP spoke on the Health Budget.

She pointed out the fact that the hospital revitalization programme was underspent by R1 billion in 2010/2011, and asked the pertinent question: “How is it possible that there is under spending if so many of our hospitals and clinics are falling apart and their needs are so critical?”

She also said “the shortage of medical practitioners where on average 30% of registrars of the Health Professions Council of South Africa training posts are vacant, and 75% of sub-specialist positions are vacant, is a matter of grave concern”.

PP Robinson challenged the Minister of Health to let all South Africans, particularly the poor who suffer most, know what programmes are in place to get competent and dedicated staff appointed.

She pointed out some other issues as well.

  • “We have massive problems with health compliance in South Africa.
    Why is only 2% of the health budget being spent on health regulation and compliance management?
  • The budget of R62 m for the office of standards compliance is not sufficient for proper implementation. All across the country there are doctors, nurses and health institutions that are not complying with basic minimum standards in health care.
  • The NHI will be stillborn without sufficient doctors, without specialists in every district.
  • We need to double the number of graduates and halt the brain drain. Tell us how you plan to do this?
  • We need to utilise our resources correctly to make sure that the most vulnerable in society get the care they deserve.
  • Primary Health care services have also received a relatively small allocation in the budget.
  • This does not gel with the Minister’s stated intention to achieve a primary-health care approach as opposed to our current hospi-centric approach?
  • Spending R800 million on the use of consultants is very worrying. We need to know what they will be doing, the projects they will be involved in and whether the department will be getting value for money in the work they do.
  • South Africans deserve better health care. Minister, we trust that you will be able to act as a catalyst to turn the situation around and deal with tardy officials, with your enthusiastic and decisive approach.”

Our Minister of Health is one of the most outstanding Ministers of Health we have had. He is pragmatic and clearly has the desire and will to ensure we as a country can deliver better health for all our citizens. While the DA’s Denise Robinson raises some interesting and important concerns we must also focus on the good that Dr Aaron Motsoaledi our Minister of health has achieved. To name but a few:

  • Improving the attitude of delivery within the public sector.
  • Starting of the NHI and the first phase of pilots in the most needy of areas in our land.
  • Re-advertising the top health jobs for our major hospitals.
  • Drafting Legislation that will address quality of health care delivery.
  • Tackling the holy cows of the past to improve delivery of better healthcare for all SA’s citizens.

Under his leadership matters will and can only get better.

We should all pull together to create the required environment for better healthcare for all.

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