The Democratic Alliance in the Eastern Cape is shocked to hear that 29 babies died in January at the CecIlia Makiwane Hospital in East London. This is not the first time that such an unnecessary loss of life has occurred in the Eastern Cape.

I had asked the Department of Health previously to put in place an early warning system to pick up any unusual situations in our health system. Sudden spikes in the monthly norms should be monitored and acted upon. It is extremely alarming to find that such a system is not in place yet. How many babies must die before the Eastern Cape Health Department gets its act together?

I will as a matter of urgency write to the Chairperson of our Health Portfolio Committee in the Legislature for an urgent visit by the committee to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital. We need to identify the challenges in that hospital and put the necessary resources in place. A skills audit of the hospital management should also be done as a matter of urgency.

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