Tender bungle brings Livingstone Hospital operating theatres to a standstill

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL
Shadow MEC for Health

Six operating theatres at Livingstone Hospital are standing empty while more than forty highly qualified personnel, including surgeons, theatre sisters, anaesthetists and auxiliary theatre staff sit idle, because of a bungled tender.

Hundreds of patients are lying waiting in overflowing surgery wards, because the theatres have no linen.

The collapse of the Livingstone Hospital is complete. Senior management is a misnomer at the facility. Those in charge at the hospital are incapable of managing a thing.

The bungled order for new linen is just the latest in a string of errors that have left desperate patients waiting for weeks, and in some cases even months, for surgeries.

Doctors and surgeons are equally desperate to fulfil their mandate to provide care for those in need but are left hamstrung by this lack of capacity at top management level.

The Department of Health has a reputation for employing political cadres instead of capable managers in health facilities. Livingstone Hospital is no exception.

In the real world, the top management of the hospital would be fired. In the Eastern Cape Department of Health, they are more likely to be promoted.

I have written to the Minister of Health to request his intervention and to request that capable managers are deployed at Livingstone Hospital so that normal daily hospital activities and operations can resume.

The Department is clearly incapable of resolving the issue at provincial level.

Where the DA governs, experienced and capable managers are the order of the day and poor management is not tolerated. The health and well-being of patients is top priority.

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbites in English and Afrikaans by Jane Cowley, MPL.