Address BY Ms CN Majeke, UDM Member of Parliament in the National Assembly on Budget Vote 16 – Health (MTEF)

Honourable Chairperson Minister and Deputy Minister Honourable Members The United Democratic Movement (UDM) commits to protecting and promoting the Constitutional right of all South Africans to basic health care, and providing proper and immediate responses to the major health risks facing the country. In re-engineering the primary health care, the department must priorities access and quality of this service as it continues to disadvantage poor South Africans.

In this regard, we reiterate our position, that health care has to be linked to other social cluster portfolios, further recognising the role social welfare, water, sanitation, basic life skills and awareness to improve the basic health of the nation. The current quality of health facilities and their maintenance especially in hospital in the rural areas is not in good standard. Hygiene at many clinics and hospitals in the Eastern Cape needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

UDM believes that jobs creation can be achieved through infrastructure maintenance and development whilst providing quality health facilities. Provision and stocking of medicines at many clinics and hospitals still fall short of the basic requirement. Distances travelled by communities to access these facilities remain a challenge. Staffing for primary health care facilities must be qualified, trained and available at all times to give quality service to all South Africans.

In some state hospitals, access to a doctor is almost impossible; this is the case in the Eastern Cape, at Esulenkama Hospital in Mhlontlo municipality. It should not be a privilege for rural people to be serviced by a qualified doctor.

We believe that diseases such as TB, cholera and malaria are preventable and can be treated; however, unless and until we link health with other socio economic factors, we will not be able to provide a sustainable service to the nation. Additional hospitals to rural communities need to be prioritised to address the congestion that is always found in the health facilities.

The UDM supports vote 16.

Thank you