Doctors pleading for urgent crisis management at Livingstone Hospital

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
22 Aug 2022 in News

Please find an attached soundbite by Michele Clarke MP.

Doctors at the three hospitals that make up Livingstone Tertiary Hospital in Port Elizabeth are pleading with the Eastern Cape Health Department to urgently implement crisis management given that it is on the brink of collapse.

“We requested our chairperson of the Health Committee to do an oversight a long time ago but this has still not happened. The DA has continued to request oversights at hospitals that are in a state of disrepair, but the ANC chairperson just does not seem to take the issues seriously,” said Michele Clarke, DA Shadow Minister for Health.

The DA has written to the Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, as well as the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, Dr Kenneth Leonard Jacobs, to demand intervention in this dire situation.

The hospital serves over 2.5 million people in the Eastern Cape area and is also the only hospital to cater for certain specialist procedures in the entire province. The hospital has to serve a province of approximately 7 million people and it is crucial that it not only has the necessary staff but equipment and supplies as well, yet for some reason, the hospital has not been able to appoint a permanent CEO since 2018. A multitude of other crucial posts are also vacant.

In addition, Livingstone Hospital also needs the following:

  • Paediatric outpatient clinic;
  • Clean linen and blanket;
  • A working X ray machine;
  • ECG electrodes;
  • First line antibiotics;
  • Theatres for orthopedic trauma cases;
  • Orthopedic implants for fixing broken bones;
  • Space to have elective surgery;
  • Emergency C-section operations;
  • An electrical certificate for PE Provincial Hospital;
  • Confirmation that the 5th floor is safe for patients;
  • A working CT scanner; and
  • A fully functional working LINAC machine for radio therapy.

The DA has long been calling for a Parliamentary oversight to this hospital, yet the ANC-led Health Committee refuses to acknowledge the request. The situation has gotten so bad that we have laid a complaint with the Health Ombud to urgently investigate the terrible conditions.

The state of the hospital is now becoming a human rights issue and this negligence from the ANC committee cannot continue any longer. Patients are dying because of it. It is time the ANC government took the crisis at Livingstone Hospital seriously. The DA is currently the only party that is fighting for these doctors, nurses and patients of Livingstone.