Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

FF Plus requests debate on deterioration of equipment and machinery at hospitals while ANC is looking for excuses

Earlier today, the FF Plus requested a debate on the problems experienced with the upkeep of medical equipment and machinery at state hospitals, the types of equipment and machinery affected and the reasons why maintenance and repairs are not done regularly and on time.

The debate was requested following written parliamentary questions about the matter that were posed to the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, on the 18th of October 2019. The questions address, among other things, the following:

1. What type of equipment is out of order; in which hospitals and in which provinces; and for how long the equipment has been out of order in each instance.
2. Why maintenance and repairs are not done on a regular basis.
3. What the Department is going to do to rectify the problem.

In his answer, the Minister blames, among other things, bureaucratic red tape, outsourcing, poor and slow service provided by service providers and the fact that certain parts need to be imported from overseas for the irregular maintenance and procurement of equipment and machinery. He also made it clear that this is a countrywide problem.

In addition to this, budget restrictions and a lack of money to maintain medical machines and equipment are also offered as excuses.

According to the Minister, possible solutions are being discussed, like devolving maintenance budgets to hospitals and districts to streamline the process. The Department has also cooperated with the National Treasury to draw up a plan to speed up the procurement of new machines and equipment.

The national Department of Health is "investigating" the possibility of implementing a computerised "maintenance and management system" for medical equipment in the current financial year as well.

The Minister, furthermore, makes mention of "plans" to train and appoint more clinical technical engineers so as to avoid high contractor costs and ensure faster service.

The answers provided by the Minister are characteristic of the ANC, the way in which it destroys everything that it gets it hands on and how the party then keeps shifting the blame to everything and everyone but itself.

The Minister talks about one plan after the other, but the real question is why the government stood idly by and allowed medical machinery and equipment to deteriorate to such an extent that it is now a national crisis.

The FF Plus will measure the undertakings that the Minister made in his answers against the action taken to ensure that these undertakings are not just empty promises that come to nothing.

Contact number: 060 556 4347




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