SA Medical Association calls on Ramaphosa to downsize cabinet

SA Medical Association calls on Ramaphosa to downsize cabinet

The SA Medical Association of South Africa (SAMA) calls for President-elect Cyril Ramaphosa to downsize his cabinet and prioritise the health budget. 

The call comes as Ramaphosa was duly elected during the first sitting of the National Assembly at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on Friday, 14 June. 

SA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR CABINET DOWNSIZE

In a statement, the association said downsizing the cabinet would facilitate the reallocation of funds to address the pressing needs within the healthcare system. This would, in turn, ensure better service delivery and improved health outcomes for all South Africans. 

“Our nation is facing significant health challenges, including a shortage of medical doctors, a collapsing healthcare infrastructure, and insufficient medical supplies. These challenges are exacerbated by budget constraints that limit our capacity to respond effectively to the health needs of our people. 

“It is imperative to recognise that the health of our citizens underpins the social determinants of health., the overall well-being and economic stability of our country. There is compelling empirical evidence that every Rand spent on healthcare especially in the first 1000 days of human life is in fact an investment ,” the association said.

In addition, SAMA believes that a leaner government would yield financial savings and promote efficiency and accountability.

“A deputy minister’s salary for example is is about R2 million per annum excluding fringe benefits, personal staff members and VIP security detail costs. Reports have indicated that slashing the cabinet to 15 ministers can save the country about R5 billion which can fill about 4000 healthcare posts.

“The health sector, often regarded as the backbone of societal well-being, stands to benefit immensely from the additional funding. This move will demonstrate a strong commitment to the health and future of our nation,” SA Medical Association chairperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa said.

Government of National Unity | Association calls for downsizing of cabinethttps://t.co/NU6mjJCXcA

— eNCA (@eNCA) June 16, 2024

PRESIDENT EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE MINISTERS SOON

Ramaphosa is expected to announce the new ministers after his inauguration at the Union Buildings in the City of Tshwane on Wednesday, 19 June.

Over the years, presidents have tried to reduce the number of ministers and deputy ministers by merging certain departments. It is not yet clear whether Ramaphosa will also do the same.