Service delivery at the Grey Hospital in King William’s Town has slowly grinded to a halt, despite a warning by the Democratic Alliance last month that the situation was critical. 

I received numerous phone calls from concerned patients and parents during the weekend about the poor service at Grey Hospital.  The poorest of the poor are being disadvantaged because Grey Hospital again cannot transport patients to Bhisho Hospital, barely kilometres away. 

 Patients had to wait more than eight hours to be transported.  In one case child with burn wounds had to wait unattended.  This is inhumane.  The DA believes in an open opportunity society where all our people must have access to medical services. 

 Total chaos is now the order of the day at Grey Hospital.  This situation was brought to my attention before and I have dealt with the Department of Health on the same issues: no x-ray film, no oxygen and no ambulance services.   I was informed that two operations had to be cancelled this morning because of a lack of sufficient oxygen.

 I was informed during the weekend by the department that Grey Hospital has been earmarked for TB patients and that other patients should report directly to the Bhisho Hospital.

 However, in the chaos this weekend it seemed that Bhisho Hospital was referring patients back to Grey casualty.  If it is correct that patients must report directly to Bhisho Hospital, the public and hospital staff needs to know this.  A public information campaign needs to be launched urgently to spread the word about any shift in service delivery.

 I will be writing the Department of Health for urgent intervention at Grey Hospital before lives are lost.  I will also inform the Premier about the state of Grey Hospital.  

 For further information, please contact Pine Pienaar, MPL on 082 446 1888