South Africa has a new Health ombudsman
Following the exit of Professor Malegapuru Makgoba as the country's health ombudsman, Professor Taole Mokoena has been appointed as South Africa's new health ombudsman.
The announcement was made by health minister Dr. Joe Phaahla on friday the 2nd of June 2023.
Phaahla stated that Mokoena's appointment is effective from the 1st of June 2023 with the professor being one of the outstanding South African medical scholars who has transcended the globe to ensure the quality of South African academic prowess.
Mokoena has served on a number of a health bodies, including the South African Medical Association and the Health Professions Council of South Africa.
Upon his announcement, the professor thanked the health minister for appointing him, citing that he had no other choice but to accept taking the role.
“I know I was reluctant but because you are the boss and when the boss asks, even if you hesitate, you ask how high I should jump and hear I am now.
The office of the ombudsman is a big challenge for a variety of reasons including the difficulties the health system is undergoing currently, we have limited resources yet we have a growing population," Mokoena said.
In the same breath, Phaahla thanked Mokoena’s predecessor, Professor Malekgapuru Makgoba, who was bestowed with the daunting task of establishing this office as the first South African health ombudsman
“He impartially and with no favour or prejudice, investigated complaints brought to his office and made recommendations that are invaluable to the health system in the country.
Not only did Makgoba attend to high profile complaints but also spent a huge amount of his term following on the complaints of ordinary people who visit our healthcare facilities,” Phaahla said.
In addition, Mokoena said it was important that the office of the ombudsman should have a listening ear.