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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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Provincialisation of EC clinics must be reviewed

June 24th, 2020

Clinics across the province are stuck in limbo, with staff crying out for leadership, as the process of transferring clinics from municipal level to the provincial Department of Health drags on, eight years after the process started. Once again, a lack of decisive leadership and poor planning have left the department in a state of complete disarray. In 2012 the Provincial Department of Health embarked upon a provincialisation process to …

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Northern Areas clinics in crisis

June 11th, 2020

The Clinics in the Northern Areas of Nelson Mandela Bay are in crisis, with the clinic in Helenvale closed for over a year and a half due to the violent crime in the area. This has had a catastrophic knock on effect on the Malabar clinic, that has seen its case load double as Helenvale residents turn to them for help. This was revealed during an oversight inspection I conducted …

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Hospital closures sign of deepening crisis in EC health

June 4th, 2020

Just when the Department of Health should be stepping up and caring for the sick and vulnerable, they are closing their hospital doors, because they haven’t taken sufficient measures to protect their own staff, who are at the frontline of the fight against the spread of Covid-19. In the past 24 hours they have had to close Livingstone Hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay and shut down three units in Cecilia …

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Accurate Covid-19 data critical in curbing hotspots

April 21st, 2020

There are serious concerns relating to the accuracy of data being provided with regards to Provincial Covid-19 statistics in the Eastern Cape, as well as the lack of daily, updated information. This is extremely concerning, as potentially false information is being spread, while accurate, collated information is being withheld. Information is power. Not only should the members of the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature be provided regular and detailed daily updates …

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What’s the plan, Premier?

April 8th, 2020

Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, must break radio silence and share the province’s plans to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak in the Eastern Cape. While the Democratic Alliance welcomes the plans the Premier is putting in place to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on the provincial economy once the lockdown is over, there has been very little forthcoming about what the province is doing to deal with the …

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Eastern Cape in the dark regarding the true extent of Coronavirus, due to testing delays

March 30th, 2020

It is impossible to say to what extent the Coronavirus has truly spread through the Eastern Cape if the latest statistics made available by Premier Oscar Mabuyane are anything to go on. The Premier revealed that, as of Saturday, of the over 35,000 national Coronavirus tests that have been processed, only 77 of those have been for people from the Eastern Cape, 12 of which have been positive. This flies …

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Preparations for Coronavirus must be prioritised

March 5th, 2020

The Eastern Cape is ill prepared to deal with a potential Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, and drastic steps need to be taken to prevent the virus from running rampant through the province. Yesterday, 4 March 2020, the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature was informed that the province’s hospitals do not have sufficient capacity in terms of isolation wards and ventilation facilities. Today the first official case of Covid-19 in South Africa has …

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Criminals who destroyed ambulance must be brought to justice

February 20th, 2020

The despicable act of deliberately torching a new ambulance during protest action in Booysen Park, Port Elizabeth, last night is a criminal act and the perpetrators must be found and brought to justice. In a time when our provincial Health Department is trying to deal with severe budget constraints and crippling staff shortages, medical facilities and ambulances, this act of arson by a disgruntled community is disgraceful and must be …

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