Crippling state of affairs continue to haunt Mpumalanga health

Governance lapses and the crippling state of affairs continue to haunt the Mpumalanga department of health.

In the latest round of the episodes playing themselves out, it has emerged that the province has only 48 ambulances for the entire population of over 4-million people.

Breaking down the numbers in a per person ratio, it means there is only one ambulance serving 91 666 people. Adding salt to injury is the department’s failure to fill critical positions in the medical rescue services unit.

So serious is the situation such that the DA in the province has requested health ombudsman professor Taole Mokoena to investigate whether departmental norms and standards are adhered to.

“According to the department’s fourth-quarter report of 2022/23, they have more broken ambulances than those that are working,” said Jane Sithole, MPL and DA spokesperson on health in the province.

“They currently have 158 ambulances, but only 60 are in running condition. However, out of the 60 that are in running condition, 12 are not used due to staff shortages.

“The department’s decision to deviate from the national health regulations will put more lives in Mpumalanga at risk. Currently, there is also no system in place to monitor response times in rural and urban areas, yet the department reports this target as 100% achieved.”

The department, whose political head is Sasekani Manzini, has also been rocked by allegations of food shortages in various hospitals across the province.

The saga was attributed to a bitter battle among ANC factions over who should be awarded contracts to supply food to healthcare facilities.


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