Mpumalanga health MEC ignores HRC deadline

James Masango MPL

Provincial Chief Whip of the Official Opposition

Mpumalanga health MEC Candit Mashego-Dlamini has ignored the Human Rights Commission (HRC) deadline to formulate and submit a comprehensive departmental response to improve health care in the province.

The 31 March deadline has come and gone, despite MEC Mashego-Dlamini’s response in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature on 11 March that the department has responded.

The department has also not lodged an appeal, as the 45-day deadline to do so expired in February.

It is clear that the MEC and the department have done nothing to improve health care in the province, instead choosing to ignore and disregard a Chapter 9 institution with a mandate of protecting and upholding the rights of the people.

Access to health care is guaranteed by the Constitution, and a DA-led government will transform hospitals and clinics in our province into places of healing, where people will receive care and quality treatment.

Our health policy is specifically targeted to increase the number of professional medical staff, to decentralise virtually every budgetary, procurement, maintenance and staffing functions to hospital CEOs and clinic managers, thus improving staffing, medicine supply and building infrastructure maintenance in health facilities.

By ignoring the recommendations of the HRC, MEC Mashego-Dlamini has effectively put herself and her department above the supreme law of our country, mistakenly thinking that the department could dictate the terms of delivery.

Yet, years of poor management, gross maladministration and the failure of the MEC and her many predecessors to take decisive action against non-performing HODs, lie at the root of the problem, completely paralysing the department’s ability to deliver on its mandate.

Only the DA cares about the health and well-being Mpumalanga’s citizens, and by voting DA on May 7, the dream of an efficient and caring health sector will become a reality for each and every one.