The Democratic Alliance welcomes the launch of the uMpilo App to assist with resolution of patient complaints as announced yesterday by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in a review of his first 100 days in office.
It is good to use modern technology to supplement the existing health complaints hotline at 0800 203 886 for those who do not have access to the internet.
The big question is whether the health system is able to effectively resolve the complaints, which won’t happen if hospitals continue to be poorly managed, overcrowded and under-staffed with broken equipment.
Premier David Makhura promised that all hospitals would have full-time CEOs in the first 100 days, but there are still 14 acting CEOs in Gauteng’s 34 hospitals. Masuku says that short-listing has been done for the vacant positions, but I doubt they will all be filled by next month.
It remains to be seen whether all the 1 974 critical posts will be filled by the end of this financial year.
Masuku endorses the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI), but not a single public hospital or clinic in Gauteng has been assessed in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Progress also needs to be made in bringing down long waiting times in hospitals and clinics.
Masuku has raised expectations with his open approach and visits to health facilities. I hope that we are not disappointed again by a department with a long history of failed promises.