by Andrew Louw – DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
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Date: 22 March 2019
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape one again calls on the MEC for Health, Fufe Makatong, to at least pretend as though her department is taking the appointment of doctors and nurses necessary for service delivery to small communities seriously.
Time and again, the department is exposed for appointing far too few nurses, doctors, pharmacists, medical specialists and cleaning staff to operate facilities adequately.
The most recent case I’ve come across, with DA Gauteng provincial leader John Moodey and DA Northern Cape provincial chair Harold MCGluwa, is in the Sanddrift community in rural Namaqua (see attached picture and video). The clinic is only operational two days out of seven, as there is only one nurse appointed who has to travel to and from Kuboes.
Do people from Sanddrift only fall ill on these two days?
Of course not!
A large stretch of the road from Sanddrift is a poorly maintained gravel road which can only be navigated by bakkies, which makes it difficult for patients to arrange private transport in case of medical emergency. Surrounding towns like Alexander Bay and Port Nolloth, which is more than 150 kilometres away, also only offer limited medical care and only at certain hours.
This is similar to the challenges experienced in Richmond, where the clinic is staffed by a single nurse who travels to and from Victoria West. At least this nurse can travel on a daily basis.
It is time for the MEC to leave the comfort of her airconditoned office and to familiarize herself with what the conditions of health care facilities on the ground are like. Health care in this province has collapsed and we need sufficient nurses, doctors and other medical specialists to operate facilities if we want to restore it.
It is only through a DA-led government that the delivery of basic medical care can be restored and improved. We have done so in the Western Cape, where we have enhanced access to medical facilities and improved distribution of chronic medication to such an extent that this province now has the highest life expectancy in the country. The Northern Cape deserves this change too, but this change can only come with the DA.
DA Northern Cape Premier Candidate
082 383 6914
071 251 5558