Motsoaledi: SA health system under stress but not collapsing

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has emphasised many the state hospitals and clinics are struggling due in part to the burden of disease and the lack of management skills.

FILE: Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi admits that South Africa's public health care sector is under stress but it's not collapsing.

He's emphasised that many the state hospitals and clinics are struggling due in part to the burden of disease.

Speaking to Eyewitness News, Motsoaledi explained what a collapse would mean in the sector.

“My understanding of a collapse is what happened in the North West, where health services were closed all together, where staff could not get into work, when patients were barred from going into hospital or when the depot – the warehouse delivering medicine - was closed off. That indeed was a collapse.”

He added: “When I said it’s distressed, I mentioned a number of things but the services are going on. For instance, we are still running the world’s biggest HIV/Aids programme at 4 million, which is the biggest. We are still treating all 300,000 people who have TB. Out of the 1,2 million pregnant women annually, we’re still delivering babies for over 1 million.”

Motsoaledi said that the lack of management skills have also impacted the health service.

Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was brought to a virtual standstill after some staff members went on the rampage over unpaid bonuses.

In the North West, the provincial Health Department has been placed under administration.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)