Tender bungle brings EC hospital’s operating theatres to a standstill

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Six operating theatres at Livingstone Hospital are standing empty while more than forty highly qualified personnel, including surgeons, theatre sisters, anaesthetists and auxiliary theatre staff sit idle, because of a bungled tender, claims the Democratic Alliance. Hundreds of patients are lying waiting in overflowing surgery wards, because the theatres have no linen.

Jane Cowley, the Democratic Alliance’s Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health writes:

The collapse of the Livingstone Hospital is complete. Senior management is a misnomer at the facility. Those in charge at the hospital are incapable of managing a thing. The bungled order for new linen is just the latest in a string of errors that have left desperate patients waiting for weeks, and in some cases even months, for surgeries.

Doctors and surgeons are equally desperate to fulfil their mandate to provide care for those in need but are left hamstrung by this lack of capacity at top management level. The Department of Health has a reputation for employing political cadres instead of capable managers in health facilities. Livingstone Hospital is no exception.

In the real world, the top management of the hospital would be fired. In the Eastern Cape Health Department, they are more likely to be promoted.

I have written to the Minister of Health to request his intervention and to request that capable managers are deployed at Livingstone Hospital so that normal daily hospital activities and operations can resume.


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