The SANDF has restored a level of normalcy to the healthcare system in the North West, the defence said. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Rustenburg - The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) has restored a level of normalcy to the healthcare system in the North West, the defence said on Friday.

The SA Military Health Service (SAMHS) was deployed in North West on April 20, and took over the provision of healthcare services at the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital, caring for in-patients and out-patients following the strike by healthcare workers.

Spokesperson Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said they attended to 131 patients within the first 24 hours of the operation and successfully helped deliver nine babies in this period.

Since the deployment of military health service security within the hospital has stabilised, and distribution of medical products from the depot to clinics and hospitals have been achieved.

Meanwhile the Democratic Alliance (DA) in North West called on the Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, to ensure proper health services in North West.

"The DA has confirmed a shortage of essential medicines such as ARVs, chronic medication, and immunisation vaccines. In the entire North West, only the Bojanala District is currently not that greatly affected by this shortage," said Dr Tutu Faleni, DA spokesperson on health.

He said they welcomed Cabinet’s decision to place the North West health department under administration, as the department does not have the capacity to execute its constitutional functions of delivering critical health care services.

"Urgent intervention is needed here to prevent unnecessary deaths and suffering. Non-striking workers in Tshepong Hospital in Matlosana and workers in Mahikeng are not allowed to go to work, and it seems that this situation has also escalated to the Potchefstroom hospitals. Meanwhile, some clinics are locked as they cannot serve their communities," he said.

African News Agency/ANA