Durban – Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Saturday night called on professionals in the pharmaceutical fraternity to take a stand against fraud and corruption in the health care sector.
“Stolen bed sheets, medication, food, lack of care in our public hospitals and sometimes private hospitals as well. Supply chain interference, good invoice for but not delivered, public servants and businesses people exchanging favours in the form of brown enveloped in order for things to be done, that is corrupting us from delivering efficient human rights t our people,” said Gordhan.
The minister, who began his career as a pharmacist at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban, was speaking, in a pre-recorded message, to guests attending the National Pioneer Pharmacy Awards gala dinner in Durban on Saturday night.
Gordhan apologised for not attending the event saying he was currently completing the medium term budget policy statement, which he was scheduled to present on Wednesday.
The minister also called on South Africans to unite and take a stand against lawyers, who because the Road Accident Fund had become more circumspect and not easily exploitable, were now giving attention to exploiting the health system.
“We must admit that mistakes do happen in the public health care sector but we will not be the first to give up the fight that patients are treated in the right way, that the legal profession needs to do a serious reflection and they should not be exploiting poor, ignorant, uninformed and uneducated poor people.”
He said R200m a year went to legal medical expenses.
“There are too many claims, R80bn to R90bn today, that the medical profession has allegedly lodged in one form or another.”
He said professionals in the sector should continue to be agents of positivity.
“Where we see injustice, corruption, abuse of power and wrong things, it is the role of every South African citizen to stand for what is right, for human dignity and above all, consistent with integrity,” said Gordhan.
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