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Health MEC, HOD must account for Scootergate

September 17th, 2020

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

September 11th, 2020

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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Health HOD’s resignation no surprise

September 1st, 2020

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

August 28th, 2020

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

August 20th, 2020

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

August 10th, 2020

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

August 3rd, 2020

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

July 10th, 2020

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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Department of Health fails Fort England Covid-19 response

June 30th, 2020

The Fort England Psychiatric Hospital, in Makhanda, has a full 40 bed unit to accommodate patients who test positive for Covid-19, but not a single professional nurse to work in it. This was revealed in an oversight visit conducted by myself and my colleague, Shadow Minister of Health Siviwe Gwarube, MP, from the National Assembly. The hospital management has made an impressive effort to rearrange the space available to create …

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Uitenhage Provincial Hospital is severely underfunded

June 28th, 2020

The Uitenhage Provincial Hospital has been severely underfunded, because the Department of Health has incorrectly allocated funds to it as a district hospital, when it is, in fact, officially gazetted as a regional hospital. This is an unnecessary bureaucratic nightmare in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wards stand empty at Uitenhage Provincial, while other hospitals across the metro have become overcrowded battlegrounds against the disease. The hospital is supposed …

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