ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema says the country’s health care system is in crisis and his party will work towards exposing its faults.
Malema said the current situation was worse than during apartheid. He lashed out at Health Minister Arron Motsoaledi for failing to keep things together.
He spoke about how a clinic that was built during apartheid in Limpopo was closed down by the current government.
“The EFF in my ward, marched day in and out to demand that that clinic must be opened and then when we say to you apartheid was better than these people, you think we are exaggerating. We are speaking of the practical things that we see. Here is a clinic under apartheid, functioning, democracy comes, the clinic has collapsed,” he said.
His statements came as the EFF was reporting back on its plenum that was held over the weekend.
The party has declared 2018 the year of public healthcare. The party has vowed to use its resources to expose the current health system crisis.
Malema said they would be going to hospitals and clinics across the country to inspect whether staff members are skilled and whether medication is made available to patients.
“It is also a fact that the massacre that occurred under Life Esidimeni (sic) is a normal state of affairs in many hospitals across the country due to negligence and incapacity in our collapsing public healthcare system. We say this shall continue no more. Not in our name, not under our watch and not in our lifetime,” he said.
The party also resolved to establish a public healthcare office that would receive complaints from members of the public. He said the complaints would be responded to within 48 hours.
“We shall expose all public health institutions that are in a bad condition. We shall name and shame nurses, doctors and all health practitioners who are involved in negligence, corruption and humiliation of our people. We have established an email address and call on all who have information on public healthcare challenges to make use of it,” he said.
Malema further lambasted Motsoaledi and said he should be held responsible for the Life Esidimeni tragedy where over 140 mentally ill patients died when they were moved to ill-equipped Non-Governmental Organisations in Gauteng.
He said journalists must not fall for his charm.
“He is too talkative but no action. Journalists like him because he answers the phone himself. We don’t want a minister who goes to Radio 702, we want a minister in hospitals. He is busy over nothing. He misled all of us,” he said.
Motsoaledi accepted the criticism and admitted that the health system was overburdened but disagreed that things were better under apartheid. He said conditions in hospitals were currently far better than they were under apartheid.
“I used to work in hospitals that were serving very few people during apartheid. Now we serve the whole of SADC (Southern African Development Community). Back then, I used to work in hospitals with no doctors,” Motsoaledi said.