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Sun Nov 23 21:55:41 SAST 2014

DA say provincial hospital autonomy best prescription

Sapa | 28 December, 2012 10:07
A doctor holding a stethoscope.

The health department's reported plan to take over top academic hospitals in the country is not a constructive move, the Democratic Alliance said.

"While these hospitals have critical problems, the best solution is to give them maximum management autonomy, with accountability remaining with the province," said DA Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom.

On Friday, Business Day reported that Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi wanted the national health department to take over 10 of South Africa's bigger hospitals, as he felt provincial governments lacked the capacity to manage them.

The hospitals earmarked for take-over include Groote Schuur and Tygerburg Hospital in the Western Cape; as well as Gauteng's Steve Biko, Charlette Maxeke , George Mukhari and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals.

The government's intended plan is that Universitas Hospital in the Free State, Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal's King Edward VIII and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital will also be run from national headquarters.

Bloom said that decentralising the control of hospitals was a better option, as centralising their control only "increases red tape and bureaucratic control".

He said the national department could best help by providing "realistic budgets" for the hospitals under debate, particularly those in Gauteng who "treat a large number of patients from outside Gauteng".

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