Health minister must accept blame for mess

It is good news that babies at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital will sleep in cribs instead of boxes, but I am disappointed that Health Minister Manto Tshababala-Msimang showed little understanding that far more fundamental changes are needed.

It is good news that babies at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital will sleep in cribs instead of boxes, but I am disappointed that Health Minister Manto Tshababala-Msimang showed little understanding that far more fundamental changes are needed.

During her visit to the hospital, we got an astonishing display of pretentious ignorance and evasion of blame. Why is it a "mystery" that a box had to be used when there were no cribs?

She threatened to act against those who placed the babies in a box, but the real blame lies with her own disastrous policies that have led to an inadequate budget, a huge staff shortage and a grossly outdated management structure at the hospital. Managers have to operate within rigid boundaries that tie their hands.

There will only be greater efficiency when hospitals are taken out of the civil service and made into non-profit corporations with a primary mandate to best serve the poor with available resources. This was successfully done with Sars. If it is good enough for tax collection, why not for patients?

We have seen little innovative thinking in the department under this minister who denies problems and blames others. If she wants to know who is really to blame, she should just look in a mirror.

Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng health spokesman

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