Don’t employ doctors without budget – DA

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo warns against the employment of striking doctors. Photo supplied

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo warns against the employment of striking doctors. Photo supplied

Published Apr 9, 2024


Durban — Western Cape Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo has warned the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department against employing striking doctors without a budget.

Last week a group of about 100 graduate doctors spent the night at the department headquarters in Pietermaritzburg demanding that MEC Nomagugu Simelane employ them. Police eventually dispersed the doctors without being employed.

Mbombo was in Durban on Monday for the DA’s Ready to Govern Summit before the elections on May 29. The DA has ambitions of forming a new government in KZN under the theme “What we can learn from other governments to drive excellence. Ensuring KZN becomes a province for all who live in it.”

Mbombo was invited by the provincial leadership to share her department’s success strategies which the DA provincial MEC will have to use if it wins the province after elections. She spoke about the unemployed medical officers. Mbombo warned that if the provincial department bowed to pressure and employed doctors for political reasons it would be a disaster for the new government because the department would have no cash to pay for other services like purchasing medicine or paying service providers.

“Already the provincial government has a R4 billion shortfall with the Health Department at R1.3bn. This is a recipe for disaster; provinces should not absorb anyone without having a budget.”

Mbombo said the province posts for doctors were unfunded which meant there was no money to employ the doctors. Mbombo, who worked in the province many years before relocating to the Western Cape, said the cost of employment balloons and health services will face cash flow problems.”

Mbambo also questioned the high teenage pregnancy rate in a province that engages in a centuries-old tradition where girls get tested for virginity. She said KZN was supposed to be benefiting from this cultural practice. She urged the province to also focus on young men since girls were not impregnating themselves.

“The statistics show young girls are now dating older men which puts them in a disadvantageous position. growing economy with employment will decrease the dependency of young girls on men. In the Western Cape, there are higher job opportunities compared to KZN which is why we don’t have a high teenage pregnancy rate.”

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