Remove Aaron Motsoaledi to help save health system – COSATU

Federation says he is the only Minister who has been allowed to stay in one position for close to a decade

COSATU calls on President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Minister Aaron Motsoaledi as the Minster of Health in order to help save the country’s failing health system

6 June 2018

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is deeply worried by the state of our Healthcare System in the country. The situation continues to deteriorate and the poor communities are the ones paying the price for this total collapse of the public health system in particular.

People are losing their lives on a daily basis and this has reached crisis levels. What has disappointed COSATU the most is Minister Mostoaledi’s denialism and scapegoating.

He is the only Minister who has been allowed to stay in one position for close to a decade, without being reshuffled. He had ample time to set up a vision and implement it over the last nine years but he has spectacularly failed.

While we understand that health is a provincial competency, it is the centre that has collapsed leaving the provinces feeling their way in the dark. The health system does not need more dialogue, speeches, summits or presentations but needs decisive action.

COSATU is calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Minister Aaron Motsolaedi as the Minster of Health with immediate effect, as a way of rescuing the country’s failing health system. He has never taken responsibility for anything from the problems with the NHI, South African Nursing Council, Health Professionals Council, Esidimeni tragedy, Listeriosis outbreak and other litany of problems that have engulfed the sector over the years.

The department of Health under his leadership has lost control of the NHI and the other forces at play are now in charge and they continue to try to water down the NHI. Minster Motsoaledi pays lip service to a non-racial and non-biased Universal Health coverage. This is evident in the dragging of feet to establish the State pharmaceutical company and the corporate capture of the NHI implementation structures.

The amount of money that has been spent on the public health health system over the last years has not delivered the desired results. We support the decisions that have been taken by national government over the years to intervene and rescue the health system in many provinces but the problems start with the national department of health under his leadership.

COSATU will be supporting its health sector unions DENOSA and NEHAWU as they continue with their campaign to push back against the deterioration in the health sector. We commend them for the role that these unions have played in cleaning up the health sector in North West and we shall be rolling out this campaign throughout the country.  

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 6 June 2018