Drug woes at more clinics: The Herald

CLINICS in the Kouga and Koukamma municipalities have also reported a shortage of medicine for epilepsy and diabetes as the crisis over chronic medicine grows in the Eastern Cape.

Earlier in the week, Eastern Cape health superintendent-general Dr Thobile Mbengashe had to intervene personally to ensure that patients received chronic epilepsy medication as several clinics in Port Elizabeth’s northern areas and Greenbushes ran out.

Last month, hospitals and clinics reported that they were running out of medication for hypertension and asthma inhalers, and clinics were running low on diabetic needles.

Mbengashe said he would ensure that nurses were briefed on the alternatives to prescribe when clinics ran out of chronic medicine.

He said the national Health Department had changed supplier.

The new supplier had different drugs that should be prescribed as an alternative.

DA health spokeswoman Celeste Barker said yesterday she had received further reports of medicine shortages in Jeffreys Bay and surrounding clinics.

Health activists and politicians have called for the Health Department to explain its contingency plan to deal with the switchover.