Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi dismissed claims that the healthcare system is collapsing.
It follows the chaos that erupted at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital recently, where staff trashed parts of the facility in a dispute over unpaid bonuses.
In my understanding, collapse is what happened in North West when health facilities were closed down, when staff could not get into hospitals and patients were barred from entering the premises— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Motsoaledi has admitted that the healthcare system is under distress and certainly not collapsing.
When I said distressed, I mentioned a number of challenges but the services are going on. We are still running the world biggest HIV program, which is R4 million.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
I am saying the system is distressed because of the high battle of disease and lack of management skills in most of our facilities.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
Motsoaledi also gave an update on the National Health Insurance (NHI), which government believes will provide free basic health care services to all South Africans.
He says the NHI Bill will be presented before Parliament on Wednesday.
In order for it to happen, it needs a massive re-organisation of the healthcare system.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
We are not claiming that we will wake tomorrow and say here is NHI without doing that massive re-organisation - changing the laws, structure and management. It is still a massive amount of work that is awaiting us— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Health Minister
According to Motsoaledi, the first phase of the NHI implementation plan lapsed during the first five years.
The second phase will be used to change laws and policies as well as laying down that structures.
In the third phase, which is allocated four years, they will be putting together a fund and buying services, says Motsoaledi.
To hear the rest of the interview with health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, listen below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Health care system IS in distress, but NOT collapsing - Health Minister