by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 11 March 2019
Chronically ill patients are increasingly being left in the lurch by the failing ANC government that continues to show that it is simply incapable of fixing the province’s health care system.
In the latest series of complaints, the department’s inability to properly manage its budget and in turn its supply of chronic medication, has come under the spotlight.
The DA is aware of at least three incidents where patients were turned away from the Marydale clinic due to the department’s own inadequacies.
The first two cases both involve chronic patients.
Mr Desmond Koopman, who suffers from epilepsy and chronic stomach problems, has reached a point where he fears for his life because the clinic routinely runs out of medication which means that treatment for his chronic condition is regularly interrupted.
Mr Jakob Joggam, who suffers from chronic asthma and emphysema, has to apply way in advance for his monthly oxygen supply, to try and mitigate the risk of running out of his life-saving oxygen due to poor supply on the part of the clinic. On top of this, he also struggles with a leaking portable medical oxygen cylinder.
In a third instance, a patient had to travel from Marydale to seek private healthcare, as the clinic was unable to provide assistance.
The Marydale clinic reportedly informed community members in October last year that the Health Department was bankrupt, which is the leading cause for the clinic not being able to provide adequate healthcare to patients in need.
If the failing ANC hasn’t noticed, a growing number of South Africans are also bankrupt because of exceptionally high unemployment rates and the ever increasing cost of living. In fact, the majority of residents in Marydale depend solely on social grants and cannot afford to travel, let alone seek private healthcare. It is therefore unacceptable that the health department is placing the onus of health care on impoverished citizens.
This is an epic failure of the ANC.
It makes no difference that this provincial department has seen three different MEC’s and five different HODs since the start of the current political term in 2014. They are all just different drivers of the same broken ANC bus and they are incapable of bringing change that is desperately needed within the health sector.
In contrast, the DA-led Western Cape, the Health Department has refined a system which helps to prevent local stock-outs of medicines. At the same time, the department’s Chronic Dispensing Unit is working optimally, and there are 6000 collection points for medication, other than health facilities, for medication sent by courier. The department also set aside R90 million to ensure the transport of over 150 000 patients to healthcare facilities. How unlike the Northern Cape, where there isn’t even money to renew the licenses of patient transporters.
It is therefore increasingly clear that only change under a DA-led government will increase access to quality and sustainable healthcare.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
079 226 0991