Speaking to delegates at the inaugural Presidential Health Summit in Ekurhuleni Municipality in Gauteng Province on Friday, Mabuza said: “We all agree that our health system is in crisis and needs urgent attention.”
He therefore urged the delegates ranging from government officials and academics to labour and social activists who end their two-day gathering on Saturday to thrash out pressing matters beleaguering the country’s strained health system.
Before any steps can be taken, Deputy President Mabuza said, the country must collectively get to the root cause of the health crises in the country.
“According to the UN World Health Organisation (WHO), one of the six building blocks of a healthy and resilient healthcare system is the health workforce or human resources for health.
“Over the past few months, there has been a serious outcry from all corners of our country about the shortages of the workforce in the public sector.
“Whereas the President (Cyril Ramaphosa) has agreed to inject a certain number of the health workforce as part of his stimulus package, this is just but a temporary measure for immediate relief,” he said.
As part of the stimulus package, Ramaphosa announced in September that Ministry of Health and the National Health Council would immediately inject 2,200 critical medical posts, including that of nurses and interns into the health sector.
Funding would also be made available immediately to buy beds and linen, Ramaphosa had said.
Mabuza, however, told the summit had to come up with lasting solutions. “The gross inequalities that have developed in the provision of human resources between the public and the private health sectors need to be faced head-on and resolved speedily,” he said.