Protest over decommissioning of Cathcart Hospital

The entire Cathcart community is in support of the protest on the N6, which is currently blocking entry to the town.  Major complaints are the decommissioning of the Cathcart Hospital into a Primary Health Care Centre, accusations of a lack of consultation by the Department of Health (DoH), failed promises to provide housing, potential job losses and forced relocation to Stutterheim.

I have been invited to Cathcart by the local DA Councillor, Moki Mahlati, where I will conduct an oversight at the Cathcart Hospital today (subs: Monday, 18 April 2016).

In a caring society, proper communication between the government and the people is a natural occurrence to ensure that service delivery takes place in the best possible manner.

The confusion caused by the DoH over access to health care for the people of Cathcart is unacceptable.  Sadly the community has been forced to protest before they are heard.

I will be writing today to the MEC for Health, Dr. Phumza Dyantyi, requesting detailed information about the current and proposed organogram for the facility,  public participation processes in respect of the decommissioning of the Cathcart Hospital, written evidence of internal communication to affected staff, alternative arrangements for staff, a timeline, detailed plans to provide after-hours medical service, the number of EMS vehicles based in Cathcart as well as  their mileage and maintenance status and whether these vehicles can manage to collect patients from rural areas with badly maintained roads and no lighting.

I am informed that businesses will remain closed until 12:00. — Celeste Barker MPL, Shadow MEC for Health