IFP Member of Parliament Dr Ruth Rabinowitz said the report into the deaths revealed a health system that was ‘callous, incompetent and criminally negligent’.
‘It suggests that after 14 years, the ANC should radically review its misguided health policies that have led to a public health system that is poorly managed, lacks accountability and inspires no sense of vocation or compassion,’ said Rabinowitz.
She said the IFP had repeatedly called for health ombudspersons to monitor minimum standards of care in all facilities.
‘We have advocated a strict system of standards compliance performed by independent monitors, for hospitals and clinics. Instead we have a range of noble Charters which do nothing for accountability and efficiency. We have a trumpeting of health rights, an ideological striving after equal care and a masquerading of figures for hospitals and clinics built, as a measure of health standards,’ she said.
She pointed out that the simplest and most dramatically effective treatment of children was through oral dehydration, but that the absence of oral dehydration fluid and related equipment in hospitals was worse than one would expect in the most deprived third world country.
‘That it should be allowed to prevail in South Africa is a national disgrace,’ she said.
Rabinowitz called on the HPCSA and Nursing Council to expand their investigation into other rural hospitals and to hold accountable those responsible for the disastrous state of affairs in public health facilities. – health-e news service