Health MEC apologises for shortage in baby formula

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
By: 
Gabi Khumalo

Johannesburg - Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Qedani Mahlangu has apologised to those mothers who were inconvenienced by the shortage of baby formula in a provincial hospital.

Departmental spokesperson JP Louw said that, while the matter had since been resolved and that formula was being delivered to all provincial clinics, the MEC had wanted to apologise for the situation.

Last month, Nestle stopped delivering infant formula to three provincial hospitals in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo because of monies outstanding. The department held an emergency meeting with Nestle to discuss the matter and the money was paid within 24 hours.

However, the Gauteng hospital had still not received their delivery by Sunday, two weeks after the payment was made, due to the officials not submitting orders to the districts who supply the formula.

"We had paid the outstanding amount within 48 hours after the meeting with Nestle, but the clinics failed to place orders with their districts," Mr Louw told BuaNews on Tuesday.

He explained that clinics get supplied from the districts.

Warning letters have been issued to those officials responsible for causing further delays in the delivery of baby formula.

"Clinics needed to take responsibility and inform district offices when there are shortages, otherwise officials will be held accountable," Mr Louw.

He added officials must have greater accountability and responsibility for their work.