Eastern Cape health in chaos media statement by UDM Whip in the National Council of Provinces (26 June 2008)

The media reports regarding the situation at the Jose Pearson TB Hospital in Port Elizabeth are quite disturbing and serious.

It will be recalled that last year December, some TB patients escaped from the same hospital, and till today we have not heard why this happened and who was held responsible for the mess. The health department claimed that they had beefed up the security at the hospital. Now, it is alleged that the TB patients at the same hospital were sympathising with the toyi-toying nurses and resorted to violence that resulted in them being arrested. This is quite ridiculous and unbecoming and demonstrates that the department is unable to control the situation at this hospital.

Recently there were media reports regarding the scandal of a R4.7 million tender awarded to a company, which had no capacity to wash linen and gowns
of the Cecilia Makiwane hospital.

We are further disturbed by media reports that the Mandela Academy Hospital which is training Medical Students at Walter Sisulu University does not have Specialists (Doctors and Nurses), how on earth do you have a situation where a Referral Hospital operates without these essentials and offer medical training to students?

The UDM calls upon the National Minister to immediately appoint a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the chaos that is reigning in Eastern Cape Health because the provincial government seen incapable of resolving the crisis.