Problems Still Hindering Oversight Visits
Makhura was responding today to my questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature when I asked if he approved of security guards who rudely barred me and Neil Campbell MPL from the new Natalspruit Hospital on 2 April this year.
An audio recording of this confrontation with security guards is available on request.
He said that he did not approve of public representatives being harassed when they do oversight work, but security guards at hospitals did have to be alert to unauthorized visitors.
Makhura also said that individual oversight visits should be subject to a protocol as not all areas in a facility could be visited for genuine security and operational reasons.
My concern is that I have been barred from three hospitals in the last nine months because Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has instructed officials not to give me access unless her office or the chairperson of the Legislature’s Health Committee has approved.
Unannounced visits by public representatives are endorsed by the Constitution and are a vital part of democracy.
I hope that Premier Makhura instructs MEC Mahlangu to ensure that hospital management allows free access for oversight by members of the Legislature, no matter how embarrassing this might be in uncovering poor conditions that need to be improved.
Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
082 333 4222