MEC is not Stanger Hospital’s saviour

Democratic Alliance media statement by Dr Imran Keeka, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Health

 

WHILE recent interventions by Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo’s at KZN’s Stanger Hospital must be welcomed, the DA remains alarmed by his failure to react when we first raised concerns about several very serious claims emanating from the hospital as far back as June 2014.

As a result of the MEC’s apathy, the DA was forced to forward the string of disastrous allegations, including malpractice, to the provincial health Ombudsman during the latter part of last year.

At this stage we are yet to receive formal confirmation of whether these critical matters are mere allegations or indeed fact.

It appears though, from the actions of the MEC in the last few days that the actual outcome at this hospital is as bad, or even worse, than anticipated.

It also appears the MEC is seeking to emerge as the saviour of Stanger Hospital.

It is the DA’s view that all he doing is conveying condolences for his slow response in the intervening period.

Had the MEC paid any attention to earlier correspondence from the DA, he would not have had to learn of the ongoing crises at this hospital through the media.  More importantly, his actions might have saved lives.

The DA has always maintained that the responsibility for any death or disability that arises as a result of inaction by the MEC and his department lies squarely at their door – particularly so when alarm bells are already being rung.

To compound the issue, the MEC has recently taken umbrage to opposition MP’s and MPL’s visiting healthcare institutions in KZN and that he intends lodging a grievance with the KZN Speaker.

It is clear that the MEC’s understanding and assumption, of what may or may not be out of order, is not in keeping with Section 114 (2) of the Constitution, or Section 55 (2), where the only variance is the sphere of government.

The DA sincerely hopes that the Speaker gives him a good lesson on the relevant sections of the constitution that guarantee MP’s and MPL’s the jurisdiction to perform their duties unhindered and unobstructed, irrespective of which party they belong to.

We expect her to tell MEC Dhlomo that MP’s and MPL’s are doing their jobs and that they are not intruders or trespassers on his private property.

Where the DA governs, this kind of obstruction, neglect and the need to express condolences under such circumstances is yet to be seen.

The DA in KZN will continue to monitor conditions at public hospitals in the interests of the many citizens who must rely on the public health care system and who deserve so much better.

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