Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Madonsela: Indifference is a plague

Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says maladministration in the country’s public service is having a greater impact on citizens than crime.

Indifference is a plague
Speaking in Cape Town at the launch of a public dialogue into health care matters on Wednesday, Madonsela said maladministration, particularly in the form of indifference, had left many families “traumatised and destitute”, and threatened to undermine the good work that the government had already done.

“We’ve had quite a number of people coming to our offices begging us for trauma counselling. I’ve seen men - breadwinners - in tears who have lost everything they had due to maladministration. These families end up being destitute because some government official hasn’t done his or her job.”

Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague
While the country had shown significant improvement in meeting some of the Millennium Development Goals, including eradication of poverty, combating HIV/Aids and reducing child and maternal mortality, it could do even better were it not for maladministration.

Madonsela said that as part of an investigation into health issues - including staff working conditions, quality of care, procurement and child mortality - over the next few months she would hold public meetings in all the provinces.

These would focus on the maladministration that “threatens to undermine this good work”.

Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plagueIndifference is a plague Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague 

While her office had received an unprecedented number of complaints recently, Madonsela said the service was being under-utilised. Only 43 percent of South Africans knew it existed.

In the past 17 years, the number of cases had jumped 12-fold to almost 34 000 cases last year - the highest in its history.

Another problem was limited funding of R200 million. This meant she could not investigate all the complaints.

Madonsela said they were focusing on the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and maladministration as “good governance is central to the eradication of poverty”.

Some at the launch vented their anger about health services in the province.

Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague

Belinda Petersen, a Cape Flats community worker, invited Madonsela to visit clinics and hospitals in poorer areas and see for herself patients’ struggles.

Mzanywa Ndibongo, chairman of the Khayelitsha Health Forum, said the new Khayelitsha Hospital ”looks beautiful from the outside, but inside people are dying”.

Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague Indifference is a plague

No comments: