Politicos doctor health sector

Elections 2014 Health Policy Debate with various political parties organised and held at the Soul City Institute on Thursday 10th April.

Accountability on the part of management would go a long way to fixing the public health system, according to most opposition political parties.

The DA, Cope, the IFP and Agang gave their solutions on how best to fix an ailing public health system at a debate hosted by NGO Soul City in Johannesburg yesterday.

Wits professor and health economist Alex van den Heever kicked off the debate, saying there were chronic budget shortages in some provinces, which he blamed on endemic corruption.

"There are routine stock-outs of medicine and problems with ambulance services."

Van den Heever complained about the private sector too. "Little has been done to stop excessive cost increases in the private sector," he said.

IFP spokesman Millicent Sibisi said too many people were placed in management positions because of their political connections.

"The hospitals must be depoliticised," said Sibisi.

Agang spokeman Mia Hugo said drug supply shortages had to be stopped.

She blamed tender corruption for medicine shortages.

"We need flexibility in the tender system, with hospitals able to choose their own suppliers," Hugo said.

Cope MP Papi Kganare said that the ANC was to blame for many of the health problems in government hospitals.

The DA's Gauteng spokes-man on health, Jack Bloom, said "more doctors and nurses should be trained".

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said the government planned to reopen the country's nursing colleges.

By Katharine Child, taken from Times Live

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