Johannesburg - The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) on Thursday called for the suspension of the Free State's health MEC and for a full disclosure of the province's health finances.
“Health MEC Dr Benny Malakoane must be suspended with immediate effect with an independent investigation into his conduct and failure to act (over problems in the health sector),” it said in a statement.
“Free State premier Ace Magashule must with immediate effect... release a frank and detailed assessment of the state of the province's health system and what his plan is to turn it around.”
The TAC said it investigated the public health sector in the Free State and found various problems. Some hospitals did not have doctors, water, electricity, or equipment to conduct tests. Other facilities had shortages of drugs, no laundry services, no budgets, no HIV counsellors, and no ambulances, it said.
These concerns stemmed from 2009.
“Essentially the same concerns that exist today were outlined in 2009,” it said.
The TAC wanted the national health department to intervene.
“For over a year we have released alerts stating our concern over a slowly collapsing public health system, the evidence of which is borne out of the many stories we receive on a frequent basis from those who are dependent on this crumbling health system,” it said.
“The TAC has over time used formal channels to bring our serious concerns to the urgent attention of the national health minister, premier Magashule, and the health MEC Dr Benny Malakoane.”
Nothing had happened so far, it said.
Magashule and Malakoane had shown no willingness to address the problems, the organisation said.
“Premier Magashule cannot credibly pretend to have been unaware of the collapse around him. That he has responded by appointing and keeping on an MEC as... unpopular as Benny Malakoane is a serious indictment of his leadership.” - Sapa