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Premier Mabuza gets an overview of health situation in Mpumalanga

23 June 2014

Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza today [Monday, 23 June 2014] spent more than five hours interacting with the chief executive officers of the provincial hospitals in an effort to understand and get a clear overview of the entire health system.

After intensive discussions, the Premier conceded that indeed the situation at the hospitals was extremely bad and he has since called for a bold commitment from the chief executive officers to work hand-in-hand with him and the curator in changing the situation around immediately.

Mabuza received verbal reports from chief executive officers of all 33 provincial hospitals stating their challenges, which painted a negative picture in terms of the infrastructure, human resources, leadership and contract management in the health system.

The chief executive officers told the Premier that generally all hospitals had infrastructure problems, as some buildings were ageing and dilapidated. The infrastructure problems ranged from dysfunctional broilers and laundry machines to lack of life saving equipment.

While others complained about lack of enough accommodation for patients, some told the Premier about the leaking roofs and lack of proper theatre tables.

They said their budgets were not sufficient for their operations, grocery was running dry and some could not even pay their suppliers. They said linen had to be cleaned at faraway hospitals that had such equipment.

Many of the chief executive officers were employed on acting capacity and the workmanship at the hospitals was also terrible. Some hospitals had serious water shortages and at some hospitals patient safety was compromised, as there was lack of proper fencing.

In some instances, employees’ compensation had been exhausted due to staff shortages, as people worked overtime continuously. Some chief financial officers complained about the lack of transport for their referred patients.

“We now have a general feel of the situation. Indeed it is bad with lots of problems. We need a commitment from this leadership to work with us in turning the situation around.
“We are going to rework their entire budget structures. We must further intervene with immediate effect in terms of infrastructure. Each and every hospital must be given a minimum number of people in order to be functional.
“As the provincial government, we will work on some certain powers which we think should be delegated to the chief executive officers, however they must not abuse them. We want to ensure that they get certain delegations and they must be able to handle the finances,” said Mabuza.

He explained that before such powers were delegated to the chief executive officers, the provincial government would ensure that systems at the hospitals were strengthened. The Premier further urged the chief executive officers to ensure that health system was not collapsing by managing the hospitals as expected.

He said the good performing chief executive officers should be incentivized in order to motivate them.

“We cannot always be regarded as a bad province when it comes to the matters of health. We have men and women who are able to turn things around here. We must not allow the challenges to overcome us.
“We cannot afford to destroy the skill and talent we have in these men and women, we must protect our hard working individuals because they are our resource for our government.
“We need to treat each other as a family, we must love our beautiful province and its people, in that way, we will definitely go an extra mile in serving them with passion. There should be progress in the people’s lives, otherwise if we cannot work, we must simply just go to the graves,” said Mabuza.

He explained that he was going to change the tone and take stringent actions in changing the situation in the health system, as it was the government of the day that was regarded as failing the people.

He added that the provincial department of health would standardize and normalize the prices for consumables as different suppliers charged government different exorbitant amounts when supplying food at the hospitals.

Issued by Mr Zibonele Mncwango
Spokesperson: Mpumalanga Premier
Office of the Premier
Mpumalanga Provincial Government
Tel: (013) 766 2453
Mobile: 079 491 0163
E-mail: zmncwango@mpg.gov.za OR

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