Parliament, Sunday, 6 November 2022 – The Portfolio Committee on Health told the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Livingstone Hospital that the hospital is in a bad state and it doesn’t deserve to be called a hospital. Members of the committee told the acting CEO that he should be ashamed to be the head of a hospital that is not providing hospital services according to the expectations of the people it exists to serve.

The committee visited the hospital yesterday as part of its oversight visit programme to the hospitals in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality. After its walkabout around the hospital, the committee discovered that the hospital has degenerated and it is an opposite to its former glory. Patients wait for a very long time for doctors at points of service such as casualty and trauma units, no linen in wards and there is no maintenance as a result tiles on the passages within the hospital are crumbling.

The committee heard that the hospital received R1.5 billion for the current financial year, but that was like a drop in the ocean given the budget deficit which is largely caused by payment of service providers that were not paid in the last financial year, and the new demands that the hospital must meet which include the extra 400 beds the hospital must manage.

The committee commended the clinical staff who, in spite of the appalling conditions under which they work, but they continue to render services to the people especially the poorest of the poor South Africans.

The Chairperson of the committee, Dr Kenneth Jacobs, told the acting CEO and the provincial managers of the Department of Health that the committee is going to demand quarterly reports from the CEOs of the hospitals it visited on progress in turning the hospitals around and on their implementation of the recommendations of the Public Protector, the Health Ombud and the Special Investigative Unit. 

Dr Jacobs said the committee it is going to convene virtual meetings with managers of the hospitals starting in the week of 20-28 February 2023. “The committee is going to need reports from the management even if the CEO is no longer at the hospital,” said Dr Jacobs. He advised the acting CEO to ask donors for assistance on resources such as linen, blankets and kitchen equipment for patients.


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