By Mike Moriarty MPL,DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Finance:
Financial mismanagement by the Gauteng Health Department puts patients’ health at serious risk.
In a written response to a DA question MEC Qedani Mahlangu alluded to non-availability of medicines being a result of national suppliers failing to build up necessary stock to meet the province’s needs.
Yet, the department’s third quarterly report noted that shortages in medicine supply are partly as a result of non-payment to smaller suppliers in the province. The report further noted delays in payment due to shortages of funds.
MEC Mahlangu must stop pointing fingers at medical suppliers and get her house in order.
The DA has on numerous occasions pointed out the financial strain stock-outs have placed on patients at state owned hospitals.
In February my colleague and DA Gauteng Health Shadow MEC Jack Bloom was contacted by a pensioner who’s had to spend R6000 due to medicine shortages at the Charlotte Maxeke hospital.
In March the DA also had reports from an unemployed mother who had to pay R450 for medicine for her brain-damaged child, after being told by Daveyton Hospital staff that they had no supplies.
The department’s non-payment has seen a decreased production in essential medicines leading to the use of more expensive ones, increasing costs. Treating simple medical infections with more expensive and potent drugs will not only see an increase in drug resistance, but an unsustainable financial burden on the department.
To this end the DA calls on MEC Mahlangu to make use of the current management model and get the job done. Basic economics based on supply and demand can only be achieved through proper financial management, meaning that suppliers have to be paid on time so demand can be met.
Administrative management from primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare is essential to ensuring that right to accessible and quality health care.