(Budget vote debate in parliament: Health)
It is incomprehensible that even though the ANC government manages to come up with wonderful plans to turn the country's health care system around every year, none of those plans ever realise. Unattainable goals mean nothing.
There are numerous examples of the problems experienced by the country's hospitals and clinics, which are persistent and worsening by the day:
There are too few hospitals and clinics, infrastructure problems, poor service delivery, life-saving operations are not performed, a serious shortage of doctors and nursing personnel, problems with internship placements and payments, a shortage of medicine, equipment and even water, fire hazards at hospitals and claims against the Health Department that amount to R111 billion. On top of that is the extensive problem of corruption that has spread through the Department like cancer.
The tragic result of all this is that people, who could have recovered, are now dying because of the government's sheer inability to do something about these problems.
What is equally shocking is the announcement by the Auditor-General (AG) that large quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE), which were improperly stored under tarpaulins, have been destroyed by the wind and rain. That is above and beyond the extensive fraud committed with the procurement of PPE.
Heads rolled as a result and the Minister as well as all nine province's health department heads will have to appear before the parliamentary Portfolio Committee to give account.
It is a crying shame that 600 healthcare workers passed away due to Covid-19, while the protective equipment and gear they needed went to waste outside in the elements.
This is just one more example of how totally incompetent the government is.
If these problems are not resolved, every cent of the billions of rand spent on the National Health Insurance (NHI) will be a waste of money.
Furthermore, the government must stop flinging the accusation of "vaccine apartheid" at other countries.
Last year, they dragged their feet in the negotiations for procuring the vaccines. And then AstraZeneca was bought on impulse after a new variant of the virus had already broken out in the country.
The extent to which the public has lost its faith in the government when it comes to vaccines is clearly illustrated by the fact that only 840 000 out of approximately 5 million people older than 60 registered to be vaccinated.
Likewise, it is no more than an illusion that 40 million South Africans will be vaccinated by the end of this year or early next year.
Thus far, only 430 000 out of 1,5 million healthcare workers have been vaccinated. And yet the government promises to have everyone vaccinated in just two weeks. That will not happen and it is dangerous and irresponsible to make promises that cannot be kept.
The ANC government is utterly unable to solve the country's healthcare problems. It has failed miserably with the vaccination programme and the NHI will be just as big a failure.
Solutions to these problems must come from outside of the state and the FF Plus will support any feasible, private initiatives in this regard.