DA reports MEC Malakoane and the Free State Department of Health to the HRC

Mariette Pittaway MPL

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

I have written to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate Human Rights violations by  the MEC of Health, Dr Benny Malakoane, and the Free State Provincial Department of Health  under Chapter 2, Section 10 and 11 as well as Section 27(1)(a) and (b); 27(2) and (3) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

We are of the view that Human Rights violations regularly occur across the Free State Province at various medical health facilities due to the Provincial Department of Health and MEC Dr Benny Malakoane’s gross incompetence resulting in administrative and financial mismanagement which negatively affects the department’s ability ensure access to and to advance and deliver quality healthcare to the people of the Free State.

Recent Human Rights violations include:

1)   Patients sleeping in overcrowded wards and hallways, medicine shortages, lack of equipment, understaffing, long waiting periods for surgery negatively affecting the quality of life of patients at Pelonomi Regional Hospital in Bloemfontein;

2)   Shortages of medical consumables and specific sterile packs for the treatment of traumatic wounds at the Botshabelo District Hospital which could possibly result in death;

3)   Shortages of toiletries, detergents, linen, medicine and medical consumables at Bongani Hospital in Welkom;

4)   Shortages of linen, medicine and medical consumables at the National District Hospital in Bloemfontein;

5)   Shortages of ARVs at Kgotsong Clinic in Welkom;

6)   Food shortages at the John Daniel Newberry Hospital in Clocolan;

7)   Lack of medical equipment, medical consumables and food at the Dihlabeng Hospital in Bethlehem;

8)   The closure of all three operating theatres, food, medicine and medical consumables shortages at the Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad;

9)   Shortages of emergency response vehicles, ambulances and patient transport across the province in general;

10)ARV shortages, specifically D410 – Stavudine, at medical facilities across the province;

11)Access to healthcare negatively being affected due to critical staff shortages at various medical facilities. These include failure to appoint doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists, nutritionists and suitably qualified hospital managers and CEOs;

12)Failure by the department to monitor cases and the treatment of Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR) and the extremely virulent and highly infectious Extensive Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR) exposing the general population to possible infection and risking an epidemic;

13)   Failure to ensure the safety and security of patients and staff alike at medical facilities across the province.

We requested the SAHRC to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the Free State Department of Health’s inability to deliver equitable and quality healthcare services at all public medical facilities managed by the department throughout the province.

The investigation into Health MEC, Dr Benny Malakoane, to include:

1)   Refusal and inability to ensure that the provincial Department of Health delivers on its constitutional mandate;

2)   Continuous denial of Human Rights violations at various public health facilities across the province and failure to take immediate and urgent corrective action.

The situation at public health facilities across the Free State is dire. The DA can no longer allow the situation to deteriorate any further. If Premier Ace Magashule does not have the backbone to take urgent corrective action, the DA will step up to the plate.