President Cyril Ramaphosa and his ANC government have chosen to maintain silence on the plight of the poor by ignoring the DA’s call for the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the collapse of the South African Healthcare System.
One month has passed since the DA wrote to President Ramaphosa calling on him to establish this inquiry. The President is empowered by section 84 (f) of the constitution to establish such a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
President Ramaphosa’s silence is a clear indication that his government is bereft of any new ideas and policies to solve the escalating health crisis. Meanwhile, poor South Africans are left with no option but to use a health service that is poorly resourced and overburdened due to years of underinvestment.
It is telling that the DA’s submissions to the South African Human Rights Commission, the Public Protector and the Health Ombudsman asking them to support our call for the establishment of the Inquiry have either been rebuffed or received a lukewarm response.
The Public Protector informed the DA that she would look into our request while the Health Ombudsman stated that he would not support our request. We are yet to receive feedback from the South African Human Rights Commission.
A Judicial Commission of Inquiry is a critical first step in identifying the leading causes affecting service delivering in the collapsing public health system and identifying appropriate interventions to solve these challenges.
For millions of poor and vulnerable South Africans, with no other alternative, the public healthcare system has become a death trap. Only a DA government stands ready to implement a dignified and human health service that is patient centred and equitable.