Fah-fee with your health

Under the mortifying and morbid circumstances that characterise the Department of Health in Gauteng, should David Makhura not resign as Premier of Gauteng? Why has Section 100(b) not been applied to this department since the Provincial Government has failed to address issues of Social Justice in Health Care. 

One should also indicate that the neglect of the sickly and abuse of public resources is not new in The Gauteng Department of Health – remember Brian Hlongwa and Qedani Mahlangu?

Our hospitals are in a state of paralysis and are institutions representing fear and death. Furthermore, it is the black majority who mainly vote for the ANC, who are feeling this harsh reality.

For instance, the community of Mamelodi is hell-scared of Mamelodi Hospital, while in the west of Pretoria the community of Atteridgeville pray for the safe return of patients from Kalafong Hospital. In the north of the capital city, Pretoria, the George Mukhari Hospital is renowned for operating on the wrong site. Less said about Baragwanath Hospital, the better. Bara patients are pumped with morphine and sent home to die. Jabulani Hospital on the other hand is known as ‘Slaughter House’.

Just a few weeks ago in Hammanskraal’s Jubilee hospital there was no water or proper sanitation for days on end and patients and staff members had to live through this horror. 

On the 13th of May 2018, The Sunday Times published a story by Katherine Child which detailed how cancer patients in Gauteng public hospitals are dying like animals while waiting for radiation treatment. At Charlotte Maxeke Hospital cancer patients are sent home to die due to malfunctioning or unavailable cancer equipment.

Amidst this barbarity there is also a backlog of more than 800 cancer patients waiting for radiation.

Then there was the tragedy of Esidimeni: hundreds of mentally ill patients were slaughtered, and in an award-deserving maneuver, relatives of the deceased patients were paid millions so that no criminal investigation was done. Politicians paid their way out of this genocide and today ANC members in Gauteng want to reward both Qedani Mahlangu and David Makhura with leadership positions in the province.

Apparently black lives don’t really matter – well, except when conniving for their votes.

These are but a few of the horror stories of public health in Gauteng. To understand how this is a deliberate disregrard for the poor and working class, consider the millions, if not billions that are spent by the Provincial and National Government to subsidise public servants medical aid (Gems).

It is the destitute who are confronted with the most undignified services while those who administer health services, politicians like David Makhura and Aaron Motsoaledi, can utilise private health care at any given movement.

While it is the poor who vote for the ANC who are subjected to this, it is pharmaceutical companies and private health care institutions who are substantively benefiting from this travesty. The question is, how will this ever end? It is the politically connected in the ANC, such as Joel Netshitenze, who have shares in private hospitals like Life and Life Esidimeni which have been posited as alternatives to the ‘failing’ public hospitals. They benefit directly from this political game of chance. Fah fee with our health!

By Mthimbane Steja-boi Mafuya (Tee) okImage

Photo by Greg Montani of Pixabay

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