United Democratic MovementEastern Cape Legislature: Mr Bongani Mahlati, MPL’s contribution the budget debate on Health on 15 August 2019

Honourable Speaker, Honourable Premier and Honourable Members of the Executive, Honourable members and government officials, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) is of the view that the budget of R25,189 billion allocated to the department of Health, if it is utilised effectively and efficiently, can go a long way in improving the quality of health services to the people of the Eastern Cape.

There is an alarming increase in the number of legal claims against this department as a result of failures to comply with certain procedures laid down in the treatment of patients. This is consuming millions of rands and this department has now become a lucrative business centre of the legal profession.

Honourable Speaker, the department cites a 13 % vacancy rate. This unemployment rate is affecting this department because our youth gets frustrated and become the victims of substance abuse and harmful use of alcohol, thus putting strain on the budget of this department.

The shortage of medical doctors, nurses and staff general is core problem in this department. Shortage of human resource is the results of working long hours and non-payment of their over time, this will affect the morale of the staff and that will lead to unnecessary protests.

The UDM calls the government for the training of more nurses and medical doctors, as well as the provision of porters in hospitals should be addressed as matter of extreme urgency in those hospitals which lack the services of these officers.

The Honourable MEC talks of infrastructure backlog dating back to the times of homelands; what have you done over this democracy when you failed to maintain the hospitals built in the homelands. Our hospitals and clinics are dilapidated and we believe it is not because there is no money for maintenance of these properties. What delays the progress is the implication of management and officials in epidemic corruption and maladministration.

The UDM is of the view that the department must tighten the security system in our hospitals. Our doctors, nurses and patients are being the victims of rape and robbery.