FS Health Crisis: 200 clinics left abandoned by failing department

By Mariette Pittaway, DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature:

The below member statement was delivered by Mariette Pittaway (MPL) during a sitting of the Free State Provincial Legislature today.

Last year November I brought to the attention of this house that the Free State Government is failing to deliver basic health care to the people.  There are nearly 200 clinics that need urgent attention. Forty five clinics need to be replaced, 20 require refurbishment, 85 have to be upgraded and 41 need urgent maintenance.

It has come to our attention that the construction of five modular clinics in the Free State is way behind schedule. These clinics were supposed to be handed over to the Free State Department of Health by the contractor in 2012.  We are now in 2015 and these clinics are yet to be handed over all the while overpayments have been made to the contracted companies.

The Parys Clinic is 95% complete and an overpayment of R816,500.00 has been made to the contractor to date.

The Viljoenskroon Clinic is 80% complete and an overpayment to the contractor amounting to R1,8 million has been made to date.

The Senekal Clinic is only 69% complete, yet an overpayment of R1,8 million was made to the contractor to date.

The Memel Clinic is only 67% complete with and overpayment to the contractor of R1,9 million has been made.

The project to construct the Makhaleneng Clinic in Qwa Qwa has not yet begun, but already the contractor has been paid R3 million.

Honourable Speaker,

I really do not know how to get the message across to MEC Malakoane that Free State public health remains in crisis. His state of denial is only making the problem worse.

Incidentally, the Public Service Commission (PSC) found that public health under the DA-led government in the Western Cape, during an intensive inspection of district hospitals and clinics, specifically pertaining to the availability of medicines, medical equipment and general conditions, fared far better than the public health systems under the ANC-led governments of the Free State, North West, Limpopo.

Hospitals and clinics in the DA governed Western Cape delivery quality private care like health services to all those who need it. The DA believes that quality healthcare is crucial to the well-being and dignity of South Africans and where we govern, we live up to this ideal.