Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba. Picture: Supplied
Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba. Picture: Supplied

Union demands removal of Eastern Cape health MEC over handling of Covid-19

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 1, 2020

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Hospersa, a union with more than 60 000 members in the public and private health sector, has called for the immediate removal of Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba over her alleged poor performance in handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the province. 

“We call on the Minister of Health to immediately remove the EC Health MEC for poor performance,” Hospersa general secretary Noel Desfontaines said in a statement yesterday.  

“Her poor management of the spread of the coronavirus in the Eastern Cape is evident for all to see, where critical posts remain vacant, PPE (personal protective equipment) is not sufficiently supplied and health workers have not received the necessary training.  

"Her continued stay puts the lives of communities in the province at risk and deprives the Eastern Cape Department of Health of enough time to efficiently implement a turnaround strategy before the virus hits its peak.

“This forced the minister of health to step in and appoint a senior director to help curb the rising numbers which currently sit at 630 positive cases in the province. 

“Alarmingly, these statistics might even be inaccurate as other health officials in the province had slammed the EC Health MEC for poor administration, which has led to questions of the accuracy of the data being provided by her office. 

“Our members in the EC province have reported that permission is being granted to hold physical group meetings even during the lockdown period.” 

Desfontaines alleged some officials had been granted permission to travel more than 400km to attend such meetings using government vehicles. 

The EFF in the Eastern Cape and the ANC Youth League in Nelson Mandela Bay have also called for Gomba’s removal.

In its response to the Hospersa statement, the Eastern Cape Health Department said: “We have noted the statement by the union and our view is that we have exhausted the matter and do not wish to comment further.

“The work being done on the ground speaks for itself as illustrated by the number of recovered Covid-19 patients in the province."


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