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Parliament, Saturday, 5 November 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Health started its three-day oversight programme to Hospitals in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality yesterday at Uitenhage Hospital and Dora Nginza Hospital where it engaged with hospital managements and boards on the state of hospitals and on the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector and Health Ombud.

During its walkabout at the hospitals, the committee split into groups at both hospitals to view as many service delivery units at each hospital as possible at the hospitals. At Uitenhage Hospital the committee expressed its unhappiness on the state of casualty where patients waited for a very long time before they see doctors, terrible conditions of the hospital mortuary, dirty old blankets and shortage of linen at certain wards as well as poor maintenance of the hospital.

The Chairperson of the committee, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, said there are good and bad areas in the hospital. He said the hospital has more officials and fewer nurses and doctors. “This hospital needs more doctors and nurses and it must always have adequate capacity to manage 100 admissions that may come from a natural disaster,” added Dr Jacobs.

At Dora Nginza the committee was unhappy with all the service delivery units and the general state of the hospital. From casualty, maternity, trauma, theatre, toilets, wards, ambulances, everything was in a bad state. Members of the committee said after they embarked on a walkabout that the hospital is literally in a mess. 
Dr Jacobs called on the provincial and national departments of health to assist the hospital by salvaging it from the poor condition it is in. He said one of the ways to assist the hospital is by placing it under administration. He urged the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer and his management team to be honest and admit their faults and come up with an effective turnaround strategy.

The committee also heard that the hospital together with other healthcare centres in the Eastern Cape operate under very limited budgets as a result of accruals and large medicolegal claims which reduce their budgets every year. An official of the Provincial Department of Health painted a bleak picture where a large percentage of the budgets of the hospitals are lost due to the problem of medicolegal claims he likened to a state capture.

Dr Jacobs and other Members of the committee asked the official to provide the committee with all the documents that indicate the historical trend of medicolegal claims. The committee said the medicolegal claims tendency by unscrupulous lawyers must be exposed and ended as it takes the money which is appropriated for hospitalisation of South Africans, especially the poorest of the poor.

The committee will today visit Livingstone and Port Elizabeth Provincial hospitals. It is going to be at Livingstone at 10:00 to 13:00 and thereafter to Port Elizabeth Provincial Hospital.


For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Mava Lukani (Mr)
Parliamentary Communication Services
Cell: 081 503 1840