COMMENTS ON 2010 POLICY SPEECH FOR DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

The DA welcomes the initiative by the Eastern Cape Department of Health for the generation of own revenue by entering into agreements with the private sector to make use of state hospital infrastructure. It is estimated that the department can generate own revenue of R500m to R800m per annum.

If this own revenue generation is approved by the executive to keep the money within the coffers of the department, it will alleviate the financial pressures within the department.

The department wants to place more emphasis on basic primary health care, which will also alleviate pressure on state hospitals. Costs for basic medical care doubles at a state hospital and causes overcrowding and the over-utilisation of scares resources.

Changes in the procurement system of the department will bring some transparency, cut out corruption and bring value for money. More services can be rendered with the optimal utilisation of the available budget.

More bills should be passed in the Eastern Cape Legislature regarding traditional practises, such as circumcision.

Belt tightening is critical and we would have liked to have seen more stringent steps, especially for entertainment and travel allowances.

Contracts which have been allocated provincially should be filtered to local district level to stimulate local economic development. Thousands of local entrepreneurs can benefit.

The DA welcomes the appointment of additional doctors to this province. We urge the MEC to have a short-term plan to catch up with the 51% vacancy rate of state doctors in this province.

For further information, please contact Pine Pienaar, MPL on 082 446 1888