by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 13 December 2018
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape calls on the failing ANC-led government to stop messing around with the futures of our young people and to ensure that applications from young medical professionals are dealt with timeously.
I spent some time this week visiting various hospitals and clinics in the Namaqua region. At every institution, I heard that there are too few staff available to operate facilities at optimal levels. Anyone who has ever set foot inside a hospital or clinic knows just how important it is to have motivated, rested and productive staff around the clock.
During the tour, I have also spoken with staff and community members who are concerned about delayed responses from the Northern Cape government to applications from young medical professionals who apply for positions at facilities based in their own communities. The young doctors want to return to their home towns after their studies, serve their communities and settle down in our beautiful province. This is exactly what is needed for us to deliver greater levels of medical care to our people, to reverse the migration of our skilled youth and to reduce the youth unemployment rate.
But by the time the indifferent government finally gives doctors an answer, they have already accepted positions elsewhere and their knowledge is lost to the province.
And we cannot blame the doctors for accepting an opportunity elsewhere when the failing ANC does not create opportunities for them here.
Departments are fond of placing the blame for poor human resource management on the moratorium on appointments. This moratorium was put in place as a measure to manage the public wage bill, not to punish the public. And it was never intended to deprive communities of services or to deny our trained young people opportunities.
We reiterate our earlier calls to the MEC for Health to ensure that the human resource strategy is reviewed and implemented soon, within the correct confines of the moratorium. Work on the strategy has already been ongoing for a long time and, with every day that passes and uncertainty is created amongst young professionals who get no answers to their applications, we lose skills.
It is only under a DA-led administration that we can restore our health care systems.