The Eastern Cape Health Department cannot afford to employ doctors, nurses, health practitioners and community health workers, as they are too busy paying fat-cat salaries for newly created senior management cadre posts. The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants a full-scale investigation into these posts for pals.
These posts are designed to further line ANC deployed cadre's pockets, rather than improve the quality of healthcare provided to the people of our province.
A capable state would be focusing on streamlining the department's top-heavy structure to redirect critical funding to where it is needed most, not inflate an already bloated administration.
A few years ago, each district only had one director. Now each district has a chief director, a director of primary health and a director of primary clinical governance. These three posts alone cost each district a hefty R3.24m a year. There are eight districts in the province, meaning these director posts cost the department R28.67m.
With that budget, one could employ 682 community health workers, or 136 enrolled nurses, or 121 professional nurses, or 122 health promoters, all of whom would add value to our healthcare system.
Instead, the department chooses to employ just 24 people, several of whom are not qualified to do the job.
No value has been added to service delivery through the creation of these posts, as the department's performance continues to decline.
How many other posts have been created for friends and family at the expense of frontline workers?
While these redundant administrative posts are being filled, critical, vacant funded posts are being ignored.
Tragically both our tertiary hospitals are under threat of losing their accreditation with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) because they have not filled critical speciality and medical officer posts.
This has resulted in the province losing highly qualified and experienced medical professionals to other provinces.
I will write to the MEC for Health and urge her to launch a full investigation into how these senior posts were created, advertised and filled.
The Premier has categorically stated that he wishes to preside over a clean government. He can start by cleaning up the Health Department.
In the Eastern Cape, the cost of incompetent cadre deployment at the expense of frontline workers has contributed significantly to the collapse of health services. The DA will continue to fight for the people of this province to have access to quality health care.
Issued by: Jane Cowley (MPL) Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health