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Health MEC, HOD must account for Scootergate

The Democratic Alliance welcomes the news that Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba and Head of Department, Superintendent General Thobile Mbengashe, will be called before the Special Tribunal tomorrow to answer for the Scootergate scandal. This R10 million contract has been plagued with irregularities, with those responsible ducking and diving and changing their tune from the moment the first video of the MEC parading up and down the East London esplanade on …


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New moms forced to sleep on floor in Frere Hospital

Young mothers at Frere Hospital in Buffalo City Metro, most of whom have just had Caesarean sections and whose babies are in the Intensive Care unit, have been relegated to a small room in the hospital, and are forced to sleep on mattresses on the floor. Far worse, however, is that they have reportedly received no care for their Caesarean wounds, they are completely unable to practice any form of …


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Speech Notes: Recruitment by the Eastern Cape department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Madam Speaker, Honourable Premier, Honourable members of the House, officials and guests, I greet you all. Madam Speaker, a year ago we had not even heard the word Covid-19. A viral pandemic was something one read about in a good book, or watched in a scary movie. Little did we know that in a few short months, the world as we knew it would have changed forever. Entire new vocabularies …


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Members Statement: Premier must choose competence over political patronage

On the 25th of May this year, I put a motion with notice to the House in terms of Section 131 of the Eastern Cape Legislature Standing Rules of Order that called for the House to resolve that the Premier dismiss the MEC for Health. During a multi-party Whips meeting, the ANC objected to the motion being debated, based on faulty legal advice given to them that it is unconstitutional …


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Health HOD’s resignation no surprise

The announcement this afternoon by Premier Oscar Mabuyane that the Department of Health’s Head of Department, Dr Thobile Mbengashe, has resigned should come as no surprise. The Democratic Alliance has repeatedly called for the Premier to remove Mbengashe as the HOD. The current Coronavirus pandemic has revealed the severe shortcomings and systemic lack of management of the Eastern Cape Health Department, which is on the brink of collapse. This collapse …


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Eastern Cape Covid-19 Stats still a mess

The incompetent ANC-led Eastern Cape Government has once again shown that it is still incapable of providing reliable Covid-19 data for the province. The latest consolidated reports provided to members of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, are riddled with conflicting data, giving two very different sets of figures for active cases in the province. In the Western Cape, all citizens can access a daily Data Dashboard which is updated in …


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Hewu Hospital Hell

Massive clinical and administrative staff shortages, access to water for only three hours a day and an emotionally exhausted frontline team – these are just a few of the many challenges facing the staff at Hewu Hospital in Whittlesea. On a recent oversight visit to the hospital, I was shocked to discover how desperate staff shortages have impacted on the functionality of the hospital. Medical and surgical wards have had …


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Excess deaths in Eastern Cape must be accounted for

People are dying in much higher numbers in the Eastern Cape during the Covid-19 period. Excess deaths recorded in the province between June and July paint a dismal picture of potentially under reported Covid-19 fatalities, with almost four times as many excess deaths than the official Covid-19 total. Excess deaths are defined as deaths which occur in excess of what would normally be expected, based on historical figures. If these …


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Hospital staff find innovative solutions in Health Department’s absence

Hospital management and staff at the frontline of the defence against the raging Covid-19 pandemic, are having to find innovative ways to stretch meagre resources while the political leadership continue to claim they are handling the situation. Today I, together DA Shadow Minister of Health, Siviwe Gwarube, MP and Alfred Nzo Constituency Leader, Baxolile Nodada, MP, conducted an oversight inspection at the at Mount Ayliff Hospital and the St Patrick’s …


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A Tale of Two Systems

How public private partnerships could lift EC out of the clutches of Covid-19 The private sector can build a fully equipped field hospital with 1450 beds in just seven weeks. The public health department has yet to lay a single brick in order to build much needed district field hospitals despite planning them for three months. This is a spectacular failure on the part of the state and highlights the …


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