Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize

Covid-19: Mkhize bemoans irregular death reports from Eastern Cape

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jul 22, 2020

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says he wants to see better management and better feedback reports from the Eastern Cape government as the province faces rising cases with calls for it to be placed under national management.

Mkhize visited Port Elizabeth's Livingstone Hospital on Wednesday.

The hospital's management and its ability to provide proper services have received media attention for years, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, its poorly run systems have received further scrutiny.

EWN reported last month, that doctors at Livingstone had complained about a shortage of personal protective equipment. There have also been photos circulating of waste lying in the corridors of the hospital.

Mkhize went on an inspection of the hospital during his visit. He has bemoaned the issues surrounding waste management at the hospital and said this needs to be resolved. He also said he wants vacant posts to be filled and bureaucratic issues should not stand in the way of filling in posts.

He said those appointed in acting positions should only be in place for short-time with a concrete plan of filling the posts.

Mkhize said there should not be issues of blame-shifting and a crisis the reveals itself should be immediately resolved.

The minister also addressed the issue of feedback reports from the provincial government. He wants death reports to be regular and not sporadic.

“Your reporting of deaths must be as they come and on a daily basis. We want to know what the figures are every day. We know there are challenges with death reporting because there are those whose comorbidities were worsened by the virus and which resulted in their deaths.

“We won't allow you to delay by a day and then another day because it creates a distortion,” Mkhize said.

Mkhize's visit to the hospital comes after calls from the DA for the Eastern Cape's health department to be placed under national management because of a failure to tackle the pandemic.

Mkhize has declined to follow this route. He said the Eastern Cape government had given an undertaking it would strengthen its approach in the province.

He said the national government taking over would only happen if there was a complete loss of management.

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