The view expressed by the Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, that race should be one of the criteria that must be considered when it comes to the appointment and / or promotion of medical specialists in state hospitals is nothing but a recipe for absolute disaster in the public health care system.
The FF Plus condemns this statement that Mkhize made in response to a parliamentary question of whether there is any truth to the allegations that highly qualified medical specialists are rejected for positions at state hospitals and other facilities in KwaZulu-Natal because they do not meet the requirements for broad-based Black Economic Empowerment.
With the shortage of medical staff, which has been a problem in the public health care system for quite some time and which resulted in the collapse of the public health care system in South Africa, appointing experts based on their race is surely not the way to go. The Minister and government should instead consider experience and qualifications and not skin colour. As long as that does not happen, the public health care system will not normalise.
The FF Plus is convinced that the biggest challenge in the public health care system is not a lack of money, but a lack of expertise instead. The government's obsession with transformation means that expertise is lost as many medical specialists prefer to find work abroad and others are forced into unemployment because they are unable to find work in South Africa, while Cuban doctors are imported to work in state hospitals and clinics.
Cooperation must be established between the public and private health sectors so that expertise and facilities can be combined. Ultimately, the main aim must not be transformation, but good and accessible health care for all.
The serious shortage of doctors and nurses in the system at present serves as proof that the government's policy of Affirmative Action has not been successful and, therefore, state hospitals and clinics have staff shortages. And as a result, millions of vulnerable South Africans do not have access to proper medical care on a daily basis.
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