Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has announced a R409 million allocation to the province's health sector. Picture: Facebook/Oscar Mabuyane
Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane has announced a R409 million allocation to the province's health sector. Picture: Facebook/Oscar Mabuyane

Eastern Cape allocates R409m to its near-collapse health sector

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jul 15, 2020

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Cape Town - The Eastern Cape government said on Wednesday that it would be allocating R409 million towards Covid-19 containment and mitigation in its close to collapse health sector

Premier Oscar Mabuyane made the announcement via a statement released on his Facebook page. 

The Eastern Cape's health care sector is fraught with problems, with hospitals in dire straits due to mismanagement and corruption. The province also has a severe shortage of healthcare workers, with high numbers of overstretched health staff having contracted the virus, the majority of them nurses.  

Health care workers across the province have been protesting at various facilities, refusing to work without the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to shield them from the coronavirus.

The premier said the province needed R4.1 billion, and that R2.2 billion of the required funds had already been allocated to health infrastructure. 

“To this end the provincial treasury and relevant lead departments are continuously revising financial projections,”  Mabuyane said. 

As of Tuesday, the national health department recorded 53, 959 cases of Covid-19 in the province, with 34,706 recoveries. The virus-related fatality rate presently sits at 726. 

Mabuyane said the risk of health workers contracting Covid-19 remained high. Over 2 285 had already contracted the virus, with 28 dying.  

Of those that tested positive, 34% were nurses, 2.2% were doctors, while 57% were employed in other categories of the sector. 

He said the remaining percentage of infections within the sector was as yet unspecified. 

PPE stocks were currently at one to two weeks surplus, he said. Inter-facility transfers of PPE was being "proactively and electronically monitored and managed." 

This had ensured "progress", said the premier, and had reduced the number of strikes over the non-availability of items. 

He said stock levels in hospitals had improved, and that bulk orders for gloves, gowns, sanitisers and three-ply masks had been placed with the relevant suppliers. 

Health institutions had been instructed to place emergency orders with depots for aprons, masks, gowns and disinfectants, said the premier, but acknowledged there was a challenged in sourcing N95 masks and examination gloves. 

The national health department had been engaged in this regard, he said.

African News Agency/ANA

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit  sacoronavirus.co.za 

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