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DA eyes Free State public health survey

Bloemfontein - The Democratic Alliance in the Free State wants to launch a public survey into problems with the province's public health system, DA provincial health spokeswoman Mariette Pittaway said on Monday.

“Our public representatives would assist patients at public health facilities in drafting affidavits so that we can submit actual cases to the SA Human Rights Commission for investigation,” she said.

Pittaway said the party would also launch an advertising campaign in all major and community publications requesting the public to submit their health complaints to the party.

This follows after the SAHRC apparently refused to investigate a DA complaint to investigate alleged human rights violations by the Free State health MEC, Dr Benny Malakoane, and the department.

The SAHRC's office in Bloemfontein was not immediately available for comment.

“The SAHRC has written to us claiming that we have not submitted enough evidence to warrant an investigation,” Pittaway told media in Bloemfontein.

She said the DA was of the opinion that sufficient prima facie evidence was included in the complaint to initiate, at the very least, a preliminary investigation.

“In addition, we are of the opinion that there was enough evidence on the collapse of health services easily accessible in the public domain and should the SAHRC pay a visit to any public health facility,” she said.

Pittaway said the local commission office would find hundreds of patients who would be eager to share their ordeals with them.

The DA said the survey would start this week.

Earlier, Free State health spokesman Mondli Mwambi said the department had already acknowledged the deficiencies within the health system.

“The MEC has indicated in his budget speech how the constraints would be handled.”

Mwambi said the department was working with provincial Treasury and the national health department to address the shortcomings with local health services.

Sapa

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