Motsoaledi: I have no authority to fix state hospitals

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says his hands are tied, when it comes to fixing the financial, technical and staffing problems experienced at state hospitals.

FILE: Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he has "zero authority" to fix major problems plaguing state facilities, particularly staffing and procurement.

He says many of the service delivery problems experienced in hospitals are very real but are the responsibility of provincial health departments to fix.

Motsoaledi made the remarks while briefing Parliament's health committee on Thursday afternoon on the findings of a ministerial investigation into service delivery at hospitals in six provinces.

Motsoaledi says his hands are tied when it comes to fixing the financial, technical and staffing problems experienced at state hospitals.

Several vacancies exist in provincial health departments that are simply not being approved or filled by MECs.

“The tendency to hold power and refuse to delegate to anybody else is very prevalent and it causes me headaches.”

Motsoaledi says that provincial departments are also spending too much money on staffing and not enough on services.

“You’ve got a huge responsibility but zero authority where it matters the most.”

He's also taken a swipe at the Department of Public Works for being slow to maintain health infrastructure in state facilities.

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)