Camdeboo Hospice under threat of closure

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

The Camdeboo Hospice in Graaff-Reinet, which has been caring for people with dread and terminal illnesses such as HIV, Tuberculosis and cancer for the past 21 years, faces closure in October because of a botched funding tender process.

I have written to the MEC for Health, Sindiswa Gomba, to stress the urgency of re-opening the tender process for funding for this crucial service to the greater Graaff-Reinet community.

The Department of Health advertised the funding tender early in the year, but then withdrew the tender due to a technicality relating to the tender process. The funding from the department has kept the doors of the Hospice open for several years and the loss of this funding will have catastrophic consequences.

Twenty-five dedicated Hospice employees stand to lose their jobs. The greatest tragedy however is that at least one hundred and thirty-six patients and their families will no longer receive palliative care, wound care, medication, food and psycho-social support. Families of patients from Graaff-Reinet, Aberdeen, Klipplaat and Jansenville will have no support when coming to terms with the loss of their loved ones.

In the DA-led Western Cape, a Palliative Care Task team has been appointed to implement the National Policy Framework and Strategy on Palliative Healthcare. The Western Cape views palliative care as an integral part of health care, and tender glitches, such as the above, would never be allowed to impact negatively on the well-being of patients.