WC MEC against nationalising hospitals

WC Health MEC says there is no need to nationalise hospitals in the Western Cape.

Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha addresses the media on 21 August 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha said on Monday he has asked his national counterpart to think twice about nationalising two of the province's hospitals.

Last month Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced his department's intention to take over 10 of the country's largest hospitals.

Two of these are the Groote Schuur Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.

Theuns Botha said while some medical facilities aren't up to scratch, there's nothing wrong with the Western Cape's hospitals.

"I have written a short letter to the minister in order for us to have a talk about this. I want to honour the Intergovernmental Relations Act. I also asked him to refrain from making irresponsible remarks of nationalising assets in the Western Cape."

Meanwhile, the MEC said he is looking at whether it's possible for the province to buy its own medicine supplies, following last month's shortage.

Botha has accused the health ministry of taking too long to award pharmaceutical contracts and placing orders.

But he said supplies will be back to normal by the end of this month.

"I am, for precautionary reasons, going to obtain proper legal advice as to what extent we are permissible to buy our own medicine and do procurement for it."