Monday, 23 May, 2022
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Workers want E Cape Health placed under administration

Health workers in Gqeberha have vowed to continue with the shutdown of clinics in Motherwell that started last Tuesday (19 April), in attempts to get the national government to place Eastern Cape Health under administration.

Writing in Groundup, Joseph Chirume said that about 100 workers under the banner of Combined Labour, from several unions, had gathered at the Motherwell Healthcare Centre on Thursday.

National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU) regional secretary Samkelo Msila said, “The current head of department has done nothing to turn around the department despite all the expectations when she was appointed last year.”

He added that the clinics were better managed by the municipality before 2012 when they were taken over by the province and that while facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro were closing, despite population growth, hospitals and clinics were being built in the east of the province. “We are facing shortages of staff and the non-replacement of staff here,” he said.

Workers say the maternity ward at the Motherwell Healthcare Centre, the only one in the township, is understaffed, and clinics lacked pharmacists, drivers, managers, clerks, cleaners and groundsmen.

“The maternity unity has seven nurses instead of 16. There are no cleaners during weekends. There were supposed to be four shifts but at present there are only two, due to a staff shortage. Instead of solving the problems in that ward, the department added three student nurses, thus giving nurses more burden to train these students instead of relieving them,” said shop steward Sister Winky Mngqibisa. “There is one qualified nurse in the psychiatric unit and an assistant. If she is on leave it means the ward is closed.”

It is the only service covering Motherwell, Colchester and Addo.

She said Wells Estate clinic did not have any cleaners.

Mngqibisa said the Motherwell Health Centre has 35 nurses instead of the required 59. “When a person resigns there is no replacement for that post,” she said.

Eastern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo had not responded to questions at the time of publication.


Groundup article – Place Eastern Cape health department under administration, say workers (Republished under Creative Commons Licence)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Eastern Cape Health owes R3bn, causing unpaid contractors to halt services


Spotlight investigation: Gqeberha patients must endure soiled linen


COVID-19 plus endemic problems push Eastern Cape Health to the edge



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