'Hospitals should order own medical supply'

Aaron Motsoaledi aims to streamline the way medical supplies are distributed.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is looking at making changes to the way drugs and medical supplies are procured in the public health system.

Motsoaledi has decided to decentralise the distribution of medicines, tasking hospital managers to do this, rather than provincial health departments.

The minister said the current system in which provincial depots order medicine from suppliers has been problematic.

"Why should they be deposited? Why can't a hospital order directly from the suppliers?"

A partnership with pharmacies is also being considered to allow patients needing chronic medication to get it at alternative points instead of going to state hospitals.


Motsoaledi also spoke out against the series of protests in which human faeces has been flung and dumped by demonstrators.

Demonstrators ran amok on Sunday by dumping raw sewage on the road, forcing the closure of the N2 highway.

Protesters then flung the waste at passing motorists.

He said the way in which some informal settlement residents are highlighting the need for better sanitation services is uncalled for.

"Human faeces contains bacterial viruses and can spread diseases. It can end up disadvantaging the very same people who need clean running water because if diseases like Cholera break out it will hit disadvantaged communities."

Motsoaledi has been tasked with helping the African National Congress (ANC) win back the Western Cape from the Democratic Alliance (DA).