PRESS RELEASES


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PRESS RELEASES BY JANE COWLEY


Still no emergency air service in Eastern Cape

November 11th, 2021

Four months after the High Court set aside an interdict that prevented Black Eagle Ambulance Services from operating in the Eastern Cape, they have yet to leave the ground. In their bid to have the interdict against them set aside, the company claimed that they had invested “immense expenditure” in preparing to carry out the contracted service. This included purchasing specialised equipment, refurbishing other equipment and contracting and training crew. …


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Untreated sewage crises destroying health, economy and environment

September 30th, 2021

The Democratic Alliance plan to meet with the new Minister of Water and Sanitation and the Minister of Environmental Affairs to discuss the ongoing crisis of raw, untreated sewage that has been spilling into the streets and rivers of towns in the Chris Hani District municipality for years. The uncaring, incapable ANC-led district municipality has for years violated the constitutional rights of the residents they are supposed to serve, placing …


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Horror bus accident highlights Health Department Air Ambulance failure

August 24th, 2021

The terrible loss of life because of the horror bus accident at the Kei Cuttings last week has brought into focus the failure of the Eastern Cape Department of Health to secure the services of an air ambulance service, after terminating the contract of the Red Cross Air Mercy service at the end of July. Despite the assurance that Black Eagle Ambulance Services would start operating from 1 August this …


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Massive Covid-19 spike in Eastern Cape should sound alarm bells

August 12th, 2021

There has been a massive spike in Covid-19 infections across the Eastern Cape, which has left citizens fearful of a more powerful and deadly third wave than was previously anticipated. While testing has been ramped up, the Department of Health is failing miserably to track and trace infected individuals and their close contacts, thus allowing the virus to spread in our communities. The latest figures available, show that six of …


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Persistent shortages of critical Mental Health Professionals in Eastern Cape must be addressed

August 6th, 2021

The state of mental healthcare services in the Eastern Cape continues to decline, despite strong recommendations made in 2018 by the Health Ombudsman to ensure that Mental Health institutions in the province are effectively staffed and properly maintained. Instead of heeding the Health Ombudsman, and despite the Mental Health division being placed under administration, the state of mental healthcare has worsened year on year. People with mental health disorders are …


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EC victims of health negligence punished a second time

July 30th, 2021

The current High Court application by the Department of Health and Provincial Treasury, to drastically reduce payments to medico-legal claimants, is a blatant attack on the claimants’ rights and the rule of law. It is an onslaught on the victims of the Health Department’s negligence, punishing them a second time for the Department’s own failings. Provincial Treasury and Health have approached the High Court in Makhanda in a bid to: …


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New Health Superintendent General can’t save sinking ship

July 22nd, 2021

The Democratic Alliance notes Dr Rolene Wagner’s appointment as the new Superintendent General of the beleaguered Eastern Cape Department of Health. She is suitably qualified for the position and brings a wealth of medical and administrative experience, from both the public and private sectors. However, we are under no illusions as to the enormity of the challenges she will face in her new role, and without strong political backing to …


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Orsmond TB Hospital collapsing around staff

July 12th, 2021

Tuberculosis patients in the Orsmond TB hospital, in Uitenhage, are fearing for their lives not because of the debilitating disease they are fighting against, but because of the appalling state of the facilities they are in. I recently conducted an oversight inspection, accompanied by my colleague, Winterhoek Constituency Leader, Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL, of the facilities and found several sections are in such bad repair that they should be condemned, …


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Public Protector’s report justifies DA call to place Eastern Cape Health Department under administration

July 2nd, 2021

The Public Protector has found the Eastern Cape Department of Health (ECDoH) to have demonstrated improper conduct in terms of the Constitution, and maladministration in terms of the Public Protector Act, by failing to provide adequate and effective health care services. The Public Protector revealed this in the first quarterly briefing of the 2021/2022 financial year, released on the 30th of June. The Public Protector investigated the worsening conditions in …


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Health Department blows budget on cadres, not service delivery

June 8th, 2021

The Eastern Cape Department of Health, already in financial crisis, continues to spend what little money is still available to it on the wrong things, prioritising a bloated administration over basic service delivery. Of the R26,5 billion given to the Department for the 2021/2022 financial year, R4,3 billion has already been paid out to settle outstanding accruals from the previous financial year. That’s a shocking 16% of the total budget! …


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