As a result of this morning’s desperate episode I call on the Health MEC Phumulo Masualle to launch an urgent investigation as to why there was no doctor in duty in the casualty department of the Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital from midnight Saturday and up to the time of issuing this statement, mid-morning Sunday.

Surely this is the time period when most traumas occur. Questions need to be raised why no doctors could be summoned to ensure effective service takes place at this unit.

I received a frantic telephone call from a student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Skhumbule Mpitimpiti, somewhere between 6.30 am and 7.00 am this morning (subs: sun, 4 Oct) because two of his friends had been robbed – both stabbed, one seriously — in the early hours of the morning in Richmond Hill. They were trying to get treatment at the Provincial Hospital. He informed me that there was no doctor on duty. I subsequently confirmed this independently. It was only after I contacted the hospital, that the students confirmed to me they had received treatment.

It’s a sorry state of affairs that severely traumatised patients have to contact a politician before they can be properly attended to. Skhumbule and his friends have been doubly traumatised — once as the victims of a robbery and a second time by battling to get assistance at the casualty unit. We urgently need to jack up the services at this facility. Imagine the headlines around the world if these were 2010 soccer supporters.

Mr Mpitimpiti’s cell number is 078 555 4193. He is happy to talk to the media about this matter, as he feels this should be exposed.

For further information, please contact Bobby Stevenson, MPL on 082 775 3444

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