by Isak Fritz, MPL – DA Spokesperson of Health
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Date: 29 August 2018
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Northern Cape will call on the Health MEC, Fufe Makatong, to interrogate all hospital boards and clinic committees throughout the province following revelations that the establishment of these boards have become highly politicized.
The recent re-establishment of the new boards for Kakamas and De Aar Hospitals, has especially highlighted the fact that processes are being ignored and that politically-connected friends and family members are being seconded to hospital boards, at the expense of community members with the required competency levels. This is detrimental towards improving the quality of care at facilities.
It is no secret that the majority of facilities in the province fail to meet the basic National Core Standards for health establishments, which speak to things like cleanliness, infection control, management and availability of medicines.
Effective and empowered Hospital Boards and Clinic Committees can perform an invaluable role in addressing these challenges within the health sector and raising the standards of health treatment. Currently, however, their commitment and ability to function is lacking.
Awareness amongst hospital CEOs and clinic management, as to the real purpose of these boards, plus the processes required in establishing them, is urgently required.
The DA will write to Makatong, asking that a skills audit of current boards is conducted and that training, orientation and induction of new members is strengthened. We will also encourage Makatong to value the independence of such bodies so that they can fulfil their governance duties without undue political influence.
While the ANC government is intent on clinging to power and is unlikely to give hospital boards and clinic committees the authority they require to make a difference, the DA recognizes their potential to uplift health care standards in the province.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure that hospital boards and clinic committees are constituted free of political influence and that they are empowered and capacitated to address problems in the health care sector in order to secure a high standard of care in facilities throughout the Northern Cape.
Isak Fritz, MPL
DA Spokesperson of Health
083 395 2737
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387