Hospitals ailing as CEO posts remain empty

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

Health care delivery in Mpumalanga will continue to be below the national standard while the majority of the province’s hospitals remain without skilled and competent CEO’s.

In January 2013, national health minister of health, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced the appointment of 100 Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) for public hospitals in South Africa, of which 10 were appointed for Mpumalanga institutions.

However, to date only three of the appointed CEOs have assumed office at the Tonga, Embhuleni and Mmametlhake hospitals. In its response to DA parliamentary questions, the provincial health department stated that four appointments were still awaiting cabinet approval (which was supposed to take place in February), two demanded higher salaries, and another accepted a job offer from the national department.

During his 2013 State of the Province address, Premier David Mabuza criticised Mpumalanga’s health department for the quality of service delivery in the province’s health facilities, and promised to appoint CEO’s at all these institutions by the end of April.

With less than two weeks to go before his deadline the question is when exactly the remaining seven CEOs are going to commence work.

Furthermore, why is the health department not negotiating terms with the two candidates demanding higher salaries, especially as they will have the daunting task of improving conditions at the Shongwe and Tintswalo hospitals – which according to premier Mabuza are two of the worst-performing facilities in Mpumalanga.

The only way to effectively address the health crisis Mpumalanga is to ensure that health facilities are well maintained, fully equipped and safe to use, improving medical staff morale, and providing dignified and professional health care to our people.

Access to quality health care is a basic human right and Premier David Mabuza and health MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini must deliver on that mandate.

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