News of Interest
04 July 2012

BEMF Call for Urgent Action on Eastern Cape health crisis

Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum

The BEMF is deeply concerned by the deepening crisis in the Eastern Cape health system and calls for urgent action to be taken.

The 9th meeting of the Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum took place in Khayelitsha Cape Town on 4 and 5 July 2012. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the deepening crisis in the Health System in the Eastern Cape and to identify ways in which civil society could continue to apply pressure on the government to take decisive steps in preventing its collapse.

The meeting identified several key issues that need the urgent attention of both national and provincial government. These issues include:

  • The provincial Department of Health and Treasury must make the details of their turn-around strategy public.
  • The National Department of Health and Treasury must make public what their interventions in the functioning of the provincial department involves.
  • Handing over responsibility for Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDoH) core functions, such as Human Resource (HR) management is not sufficient or even desirable and a more comprehensive and far reaching intervention that includes all role-players must be developed and made public.
  • Any strategy or austerity measures that are implemented must not result in the withdrawal of essential services such as the provision of basic medicines.
  • The filling of vacant funded posts and the finalisation of the employment of health care personnel already providing services despite not receiving compensation for several months.
  • The ECDoH should not continue with its threatened disciplinary action against Doctors at the PE Hospital Complex who held a press conference at the end of June highlighting their concerns around the imminent collapse of service delivery at their facilities. We maintain that these doctors were acting in accordance with their ethical obligations to their patients.
  • The forum and its members have committed to supporting these doctors with any action necessary to ensure that they are not sanctioned for their commitment to service delivery.

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