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F State health services suffering

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi File photo: Sharon Seretlo

Bloemfontein - Free State health services are deteriorating because of a lack of money, the SA Medical Association said on Friday.

“Patient lives and jobs are at risk,” said Dr Nathaniel Mofolo, chairman of the Free State branch of Sama.

He urged Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and the National Treasury to intervene.

Mofolo said he was deeply concerned by the provincial department's financial situation and its impact on service delivery and training.

He urged provincial hospital managers to take proactive steps to involve clinicians in rationalising services. Managers should also inform the public about the current situation.

Clinicians should not expose patients and themselves to unacceptable risks and report problems in writing to hospital management and Sama.

“Academic training at training hospitals has also been seriously and negatively affected by the state of the provincial department's finances,” said Mofolo.

He said it was an untenable situation.

Earlier this week, the Democratic Alliance in the Free State called for a concrete strategy to turn public health around in the province.

The party criticised health MEC Dr Benny Malakoane for narrowing down the problems to funding constraints.

DA spokeswoman on Free State health Mariette Pittaway said several medical facilities struggled without the necessary medical equipment, medicine, and food.

“At some facilities surgeries are postponed, leaving patients in pain and discomfort. The situation is dire.”

Pittaway said Malakoane should also look at financial and administrative mismanagement as causes for the current state of affairs.

This week senior Free State health managers signed a pledge recommitting themselves to the delivery of proper health services. - Sapa


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