There are serious concerns over the safety of health workers at public health facilities in the Eastern Cape, with some healthcare workers saying they are scared to go to work. Although the provincial health department says it shares this concern, the department remains tight-lipped over its plans and the relevant security contracts. Luvuyo Mehlwana spoke to union representatives, healthcare workers, and some security personnel about the situation.
For years, the Eastern Cape Department of Health has made the headlines, often for the wrong reasons. From rat-infested hospitals to newborn babies dying in overcrowded and understaffed wards – such challenges have persisted for decades. Luvuyo Mehlwana looked at what has changed since Dr Rolene Wagner took office and asks if heading this department is a poisoned chalice regardless of who is at the helm.
Shortages of doctors and nurses at hospitals in the Eastern Cape is a well-known systemic issue that creates serious challenges for access to quality healthcare. Attempts to access information on how the Provincial Department of Health is addressing or will address this have been unsuccessful, making it hard to hold the department accountable, writes Sibusisiwe Ndlela.