State health system on a downward trajectory: The Herald

MEDICO-legal claims of up to R11.4-billion, outstanding bills with interest accumulated over periods ranging from 30 to 90 days overdue and a whopping COE (cost of employees) bill that swallows 60% of our annual budget, together with a junk status economy, adds to the heavy burden placed on staff, patients and our provincial health facilities (“No money for medicines shock”, The Herald, May 8).

While the department continues to generate reports that paint a somewhat incomplete picture of a rosy, financially stable health department, contractors and service providers are banging at the doors and interest on outstanding accounts adds up and up and up.

To date no printed copy of the departmental organogram for our provincial health facilities has been distributed and some outpatients in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro have – in the last three months – had their drug prescriptions denied, limited or changed.

Such actions violate human and constitutional rights and may have unforeseen or tragic consequences because the sudden withdrawal of regularly prescribed psychiatric drugs can lead to suicide, as was the case at the Livingstone Hospital.

The DA stands for equality of access and care for all state patients, regardless of who you are or where you live in our province.

We will protect your right to decent healthcare by examining and commenting on our provincial health department budget and we will provide you with feedback in the print media because health matters to every single citizen in this, our beleaguered but beautiful, province. — Celeste Barker, DA MPL, Shadow Health MEC