Premier Magashule must suspend MEC Malakoane

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

Free State Provincial Legislature

This week, Health MEC Malakoane, held a press conference to dispel ‘rumours’ and ‘allegations’ by the DA and the media that he can’t manage his department. At the very generic press conference MEC Malakoane assured the public that he is in control of the department of health and that it functions up to standard, but immediately contradicted himself by stating that the department needs R4 billion over the next three years to function optimally.

MEC Malakoane is not in control of his department and Premier Magashule must intervene for the sake of quality health care to the people in the Free State.

The provincial department of health is plagued by numerous problems, these are:

  • That it wasted R3.6 billion on consultants in three years for the period 2008/9 to 2010/11;
  • High vacancy rates across the province. The vacancy rates for medical doctors is at 28%, for medical specialists 31% and for pharmacists at 42% and inspite of this the department fails to appoint available medical professional;
  • That it does not have a proper recruitment and retention programme;
  • Medicine shortages;
  • Critical managerial shortages of medical facilities;
  • Failure to keep track of cases and treatment of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR) and the extremely virulent and highly infectious Extensive Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR);
  • That medical facilities across remain under resourced and poorly maintained;
  • That MEC Malakoane himself is under criminal investigation for corruption.

We have repeatedly called on Premier Ace Magashule to suspend MEC Malakoane, to no avail. It is evident that Premier Magashule does not have the stomach for good governance. Last week we received complaints of poor service delivery and the undignified treatment of patients at provincial hospitals.

We wrote to the premier asking him to investigate and intervene. It is clear that Premier Ace Magashule is not interested in the good health of the province and remains more focussed to consolidate his powerbase through cronyism.