Eastern Cape organisations call on health department to clean up its act
Cape Town – Two organisations in the Eastern Cape are demanding that the provincial Health Department account for the deaths and lack of services at its facilities, which they say are on the brink of collapse.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the Igazi Foundation have given the Health Department until July 21 to respond to their demands.
The TAC, an organisation with branches across South Africa, campaigns for equitable access to health-care services, while the Igazi Foundation is an NGO that aims to improve haematological services and facilities for patients, their families and health-care workers.
The organisations have asked the department to provide them with a detailed report on their investigation into the Dora Nginza Hospital, where a number of maternal and child deaths have occurred this year.
They are also urging the department to urgently deploy additional laundry aids, cleaners, porters and general assistants to Livingstone and Dora Nginza hospitals, to ensure that sanitation and hygiene standards are upheld.
This follows a report by BBC News that exposed the atrocious conditions at hospitals in the province.
The organisations are also seeking a revised staffing plan to respond to Covid-19, details on personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement and oxygen supplies and the department's plan to increase the number of these items at its health facilities.
They want to see the department's plans for additional bed capacity to respond to the coronavirus pandemic as well as information pertaining to the opening of field hospitals, including their bed and staffing capacities and costs of management.
The organisations have also requested details on the number of operational ambulances in the province, their location and whether any have been set aside for Covid-19 cases. They also want information on the operational plans for ambulances used to transport Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients per district.
Furthermore, the TAC and the Igazi Foundation want details on the R222 million refurbishment and construction of health-care facilities and the progress made on these projects.