Admitting that there may be serious cash flow problems within the department, MEC for Health – Fufe Makatong maintained that the there was no imminent crisis to her departmental state of affairs. Speaking at a press briefing at the ministry of Health in Kimberley, Makatong took it upon herself to clear the air over serious allegations brought forward by opposition parties.
“Yes, indeed the department is confronted with service delivery challenges that I was upfront about during my appearances to oversight bodies and engagements with Hon. Louw personally. Understanding his opposition role I am not shocked by his grandstanding and exaggerating opinions but truth should be told at all material times irrespective on which side you standing.” The MEC cited that “it was not true that the majority of the province’s hospitals and clinics are unable to cope with multitudes of patients at overcrowded facilities due to introduction of CCMDD and advocating that patients should start at clinics and not self-refer to hospitals particularly Robert Sobukwe Hospital as priority is given to patients with referral letters.”
Makatong added that the shortage of ambulances in the province was a reality but measures were in place to transport patients across the province at times through the use of aero-medical services and private service providers who require secondary or tertiary care. Furthermore Makatong highlighted that it was also not true that department had no money to pay higher salaries. “We are only challenged with retention of these professionals as some communities do not have the amenities they require such as English schools and others.”
The MEC lamented that she had submitted her grievances over under performance of officials to both Northern Cape Premier – Sylvia Lucas and Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi. “The management failure I detected in delivering services to our people as a consequence I took it upon myself to escalate my dissatisfaction with the Premier and Minister of Health after countless times the administrative head failed to execute decisions towards improving organisational efficiencies.” Makatong added that she thought it was a ‘low blow’ for opposition parties to use her department as a way to score election votes.
“I think it is quite disingenuous of Mr Louw to use health challenges for 2019 elections as we have constant engagements with our communities through the governance structures, where we keep communities abreast on any health related issue not for poor politicking and grandstanding,” she concluded.