I AM responding to the letter, "Bay clinic system near to collapse” (August 7), from councillor Francois Greyling of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. He must not short-change the public by not stating facts in so far as the medical aid contribution by the municipality and the department is concerned.
The department owes about R40-million to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality for primary health services that were rendered by the municipality on an agency basis.
The department had just paid R70-million to the metro for primary healthcare services.
The department has an intergovernmental arrangement with the metro in terms of such payments and related matters.
The municipality has paid all the contributions to all the medical aids schemes. The medical aid contribution by the metro and the department continue uninterrupted by the metro, and Bonitas and LA Health have been paid by the metro as well.
Greyling is a member of the district health council and a member of the public health portfolio committee. The municipality and the department have an arrangement and the councillor is aware of the steps he can follow in addressing issues of concern.
He has access to the mayor, the premier, Premier’s Co-ordinating Forum (PCF) and the MEC. The department took him through how the district health council functioned, and how to interact with the MEC and the premier if all failed. The department has a call centre which handles all complaints relating to health matters and the councillor is well aware of this platform, the presidential hotline and other state entities.
His utterances are irresponsible and it is not true that the Bay clinic system is near collapse.
It is not true that the medical aid schemes have not been paid because they have been paid by the municipality on arrangement with the department and that the employees are adversely affected by this.
Greyling should not be opportunistic and use the media for his narrow political agenda, and project this government as uncaring and short-changing the employees.
Two cases that have come to our attention are of two employees and they are being attended to by the medical aid schemes.
The department, through the MEC and superintendent-general, and the municipality, through its officials, met the metro employees and explanations were given at the John Rabie Hall in Gelvandale. Personnel was availed as well as the help desk to attend to matters of the employees.
Siyanda Manana, director of communications, Eastern Cape Department of Health