JOHANNESBURG– The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), the country’s largest labour federation, has again called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to remove Aaron Motsoaledi as Minister of Health in order to help save the country’s failing health system.

The labour federation’s spokesperson, Sizwe Pamla, said Thursday that the time for Motsoaledi, who has held the health portfoliosinc e2009, to change the situation in the Health Department has long passed. Pamla said new blood must be brought in to assist the collapsing department.

As we look at things, nine years down the line, we feel now this is a failing system and we think that, if President Ramaphosa is to make a success of his New Dawn (vision), some comrades who have been entrusted with some responsibility should be replaced and we should get new blood, people with new ideas,” he said.

“We think nine years is long enough for someone to turn around a department which the government continues to tell us is an essential service department.

Meanwhile, civil society group Section 27 has also written an open letter to Ramaphosa, calling on him to resolve the challenges which the country’s healthcare system is facing.

What we really need here is strong leadership, accountability and we need an ability to respond to the needs of the people who use the health care system. The word crisis is often over-used, but I think it is what we are facing right now,” reads the open letter.

“It is important that we get this right because health affects everybody, it affects the economy, it affects the individuals and it’s a constitutional right to access to health care services.


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