Treat health as World Cup

OUR health system is in a frightful state in all nine provinces. Hospitals in the Eastern Cape are not operational because they do not have equipment and a full staff complement.

OUR health system is in a frightful state in all nine provinces. Hospitals in the Eastern Cape are not operational because they do not have equipment and a full staff complement.

In Limpopo reports say people die just outside the doors of hospitals. The best hospital in the country, Charlotte Maxeke, lost five babies in one day to diarrhoea. Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital is said to have a surgical ward in name only.

A woman was found three days after she died at Prince Mshiyeni in KwaZulu Natal. Most hospitals in that province no longer issue porridge for their HIV-Aids and TB patients. The list goes on endlessly.

It is clear that the health system is in a parlous state and is on the verge of collapse. Previous health ministers ran the system down, closed hospitals, underpaid employees and generally marched to their own drum while their department floundered.

We commend Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for his sterling work in advancing health care and expanding treatment for HIV-Aids.

After a series of disastrous and unheeding ministers, the choice of Motsoaledi was inspired. He is the first health minister who knows what he is doing to improve the quality of life of his people.

But too many hospitals are a shambles.

We suggest that Motsoaledi formulates a plan that will utilise the effort and commitment expended over the World Cup to energise the health system. He can strike while the main players are still savouring their triumph but wondering what to do next.

X