Former nurse Nomathemba Mokgethi is the new Gauteng MEC for Health.
Provincial premier David Makhura made the announcement as Covid-19 continues to plague South Africa’s richest region and follows the sacking of the previous Health MEC for irregularities that happened under his watch.
— People's Assembly (@PeoplesAssem_SA) December 2, 2020
Dr Bandile Masuku was fired after the Special Investigating Unit’s report earlier in 2020 which found massive tender irregularities involving Personal Protective Equipment tenders occurred while he was in charge.
His replacement Mokgethi has 27 years’ experience in local government and will be moved over to the Provincial Health Department from the Department of Social Welfare.
She has a master’s degree in nursing science and a doctorate in literature and philosophy from UNISA.
Speaking during the media event introducing her to the public and defending the fact that she is not a GP Doctor, Makhura said part of Mokgethi’s literature doctorate was focused on healthcare, especially HIV and Aids.
He also said that action needed to be taken swiftly to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic which is stalking the province.
Premier David Makhura @GautengPremier announces changes to his @GautengProvince cabinet and, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi is announced as the new MEC for Health in Gauteng. With changes to two other departments. #GrowingGautengTogether pic.twitter.com/ltQUJb9CM8
— Gauteng Health (@GautengHealth) December 2, 2020
The province will also see a new team of experts installed including clinician specialists to deal with a possible second wave of Covid-19 which the Western and Eastern Cape are experiencing.
“Last week I spent time explaining that we need to do everything that we don’t lower the guard in Gauteng province. But we must be sure that we’re ready,” said Makhura.
Gauteng health structure under scrutiny
The organisational structure of the provincial health department will come under scrutiny with an emphasis on primary healthcare, leadership in hospitals and decentralisation of some functions.
The failure of governance in the department will also be dealt with as the reports of poor financial practices, along with irregular expenditure continue to surface.
The province also will escalate tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatment which has suffered during the pandemic.
As with other parts of South Africa, Gauteng is dealing with multiple pandemics and Covid-19 continues to concern health experts.
“The number of cases we’re reporting is increasing. In the last seven days, we have recorded over 1 800 new cases and that’s a matter of great concern. We may not be where the Eastern Cape and Western Cape are… but all indications are showing that we’re going to have a significant increase,” he said. – Health-e News and SANews