Department of Health have foxes guarding the hen house

Issued by Jane Cowley – Shadow MEC for Health
16 Aug 2019 in Press Statements

Senior officials implicated in corruption around the devastating false medico-legal claims lodged against the Department of Health, should not be part of the premier’s task team to investigate the claims, they should be in jail.

Medico-legal claims, in excess of R24-billion, have brought the Department to the brink of collapse, with the Auditor General (AG) raising serious concerns over its financial sustainability.

If these officials are included, we will see the great cover up, not the great clean up, of the Department of Health.

We cannot continue to have foxes guarding the hen house.

The sad reality is that these criminals are entrenched throughout the Department and are apparently untouchable.

Other areas that need to be cleaned up include:

The EMS service, which is riddled with lack of discipline and lawlessness.  Overtime discrepancies are commonplace and extra overtime is allegedly paid to those who have girlfriends in the finance department of the EMS.

The mental health sector. The health ombudsman who investigated the state of mental health care in the province called for an administrator to oversee reforms in this sector. The administrator has been frustrated by senior officials who seem hellbent on sabotaging his efforts to restructure and clean up this sector.

One of the departmental officials, who was deeply implicated in the corrupt activities in these institutions, has been promoted. He should be nailed and jailed, not rewarded! 

The Lilitha colleges, which are not aligned to the health practitioner needs of the province, resulting in shortages of some skills and excess of others, leaving many qualified practitioners sitting at home unemployed. These colleges are mired in allegations of misconduct, corruption and maladministration.

The Mthatha Pharmaceutical Depot, which is still unable to supply medicines to the hundreds of clinics and hospitals that depend on them. Clinics prefer to drive all the way to Port Elizabeth in order to obtain their medicines, because they have lost faith in the Mthatha depot. This comes at huge cost to the province.

I challenge the MEC to hunt these criminal elements down and purge the Department of them, because they will be the biggest blight of her administration if she does not.

Criminals belong in jail. They do not belong in the health sector.