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Sat Nov 01 10:45:47 SAST 2014

Constitution the cure for healthcare ills: iLive

Paul Hoffman SC, director Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, by e-mail | 14 December, 2012 00:02

THE meltdown in the administrative side of health care in Gauteng ("Health shambles", December 11) is tragic - but it could have been avoided had cadre deployment not been deemed more important than merit when it came to appointments.

There is now no quick-fix solution available, especially while loyalty to party is still allowed to trump service to people.

However, there are a few pointers that can be used to help right the situation. First and foremost, the department has to be made aware of the supremacy of the constitution - in particular, the principles and values that govern the public administration.

Accountability and sound human resource management practices must be brought to the fore. Then, the Bill of Rights has to be taken seriously by all staff: this involves the "People First" ethos. The right of everyone to human dignity, to life and to access to health care must be respected.

The constitutional cornerstones of the Public Finance Management Act need to be taken more seriously. The system must be fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective.

Performing diligently and without delay, as required by the constitution, should be the order of the day.

Cadre deployment must be jettisoned because it is unconstitutional.

The main missing ingredient to solving the various problems is the political will to implement our constitution.

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