South African Medical Association

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Media Statement | SAMA Deplores Bloated Cabinet

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) expresses deep concern over the recent cabinet appointments, which have resulted in an increasingly bloated administration, including the addition of dual deputy ministers in some portfolios. SAMA strongly believes that this decision contradicts the urgent need to streamline government for the sake of efficiency and better allocation of resources.

Dr. Mzukwa, SAMA’s Chairperson, stated, "we are disheartened by the expansion of the cabinet, which we see as a missed opportunity to reallocate crucial funds to our struggling healthcare system. Our nation faces significant health challenges that require immediate and substantial investment, and this expanded cabinet diverts essential resources away from where they are needed most."

Despite these concerns, Dr. Mzukwa emphasised that SAMA is not focused on the personalities of those appointed to the health portfolio. "We are committed to working with those appointed in the health ministry to address the pressing needs within our healthcare system. Our primary concern remains the health and well-being of all South Africans, and we will continue to advocate for measures that improve service delivery and health outcomes."

SAMA emphasised that a more efficient cabinet could have freed up substantial financial resources. These resources are desperately needed to improve healthcare infrastructure, recruit and retain medical personnel some of whom remain unemployed, and invest in preventive care initiatives.

In light of these appointments, SAMA thus recommends that austerity measures are put in place to trim the salary budget of the cabinet ministers and the President. This include, for example, cases where there are dual deputies, the incumbents share one salary between them to overcome the cost of the bloated cabinet. The association remains dedicated to collaborating with the government to find solutions that will enhance the country's healthcare system and ultimately benefit all South Africans.

ENDS

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