Gauteng making the ill suffer: iLIVE

19 July 2013 - 02:33 By Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng health spokesman, by e-mail
File photo.
File photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

Thousands of very sick people aren't being visited by caregivers who have been on strike for two weeks because the NGOs they work for have not been paid by the Gauteng health department.

More than 400 NGOs have petitioned the department to continue their contracts to provide home-based care to thousands of needy people, but have not received any response.

The caregivers visit sick people, bathe them and ensure they have food and clean sheets. Their patients are mostly the terminally ill.

This week I visited one of them, Westbury Aids Support Group, in west Johannesburg.

It usually receives R147000 every quarter from the Gauteng health department, but was paid late for the April to June quarter. Its caregivers are doing only emergency visits to HIV/Aids and terminally ill patients.

It is tragic that very ill people are suffering as the department drags its heels in renewing the NGO's contract.

Payments must be resumed as soon as possible so the caregivers can continue to do their valuable work.