Livingstone Hospital infested with rats: Report lifts lid on state of Eastern Cape hospitals


  • A Public Protector report into Japanese Cape hospitals have discovered these services to be dysfunctional and unable to supply high quality well being care.
  • The deficiencies included acute employees shortages, crumbling infrastructure, a scarcity of medical gear and an inadequate provide of PPE.
  • The report follows inspections at 4 Japanese Cape hospitals by the the Public Protector’s workplace on 4 and 5 August 2020.

The 661-bed rat infested Livingstone Hospital in Gqeberha, the most important well being facility within the Japanese Cape, is dysfunctional and fails to supply appropriate well being providers to the folks it serves.  

This was the findings in a report launched by Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka, on Wednesday, into allegations of worsening situations at Japanese Cape hospitals.

The report adopted inspections at 4 Japanese Cape hospitals by the the Public Protector’s workplace on 4 and 5 August 2020 following allegations of poor service.

READ | Hospital hell: Japanese Cape services in surprising state

Gcaleka and her workforce spent the 2 days within the Japanese Cape investigating whether or not the provincial well being division was fulfilling its obligations as prescribed by the Structure and the regulation and if failure to take action amounted to improper conduct and maladministration. 

On the Livingstone Hospital, the situations of which had been documented by the media, “systemic deficiencies” had been discovered. 

WATCH | Dust traces corridors at Japanese Cape hospital

These deficiencies included acute employees shortages, crumbling and insufficient bodily infrastructure, the scarcity of medical gear or equipment, and an inadequate provide of different sources like private protecting gear (PPE).

“The investigation revealed that the administration of well being by the ECDoH (Japanese Cape Division of Well being) at Nessie Knight, Mthatha, Livingstone and Uitenhage hospitals doesn’t accord with the obligations imposed by the Structure and the regulation,” stated Gcaleka.

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At Livingstone and Uitenhage hospitals, employees shortages, deteriorating bodily infrastructure and shortages of medical gear and equipment had been noticed.

Gcaleka stated the identical systemic deficiencies had been mirrored in submissions by hospital administration and within the submissions by union representatives who had engaged with the investigation workforce.

The province’s well being division failed to make sure ample situations for the “enjoyment, supply and entry” to efficient healthcare providers for the communities of Sulenkama, Mthatha, Gqeberha and Uitenhage.

Addressing the media, Gcaleka added: “Such failure by ECDoH quantities to contravention of the related sections of the Structure, related sections of the Nationwide Well being Act and the rules.” 

The Japanese Cape well being division didn’t dispute the observations and findings, stated Gcaleka in her 106 web page report.

In her report, Gcaleka listed probably the most seen systemic, administrative and infrastructural deficiencies made through the website inspections. 

The report additionally discovered:

– The Livingstone Hospital was tormented by instability in management brought on by undue delays in filling senior administration positions equivalent to CEO;

– Structural discontent, lack of an organogram and extreme under-funding of the hospital

– There’s a lack of synergy between the hospital and the Japanese Cape provincial authorities and lack of help of the hospital by the province; and

– Overcrowding of the hospital on account of lack of district hospitals within the space to deal with sufferers with minor diseases.

Gcaleka additional revealed that important machines/gear weren’t being maintained, consequently sufferers had been transferred to non-public hospitals at excessive prices. 

The hospital purchased a cath-lab in 2018 for R17.8 million with the intention of making certain high quality service in order that sufferers needn’t be compelled to make use of personal hospitals – but it has not, to this point, been used, the report stated.

Gcaleka discovered that it was bought with none upkeep plan – the machine was not absolutely put in and its guarantee was not legitimate.

The report stated the Japanese Cape well being division should make sure that the recruitment processes for vacant management positions at Livingstone and Uitenhage hospitals had been finalised inside 60 days, and that the filling of different crucial positions on the hospitals have to be prioritised

ALSO READ | Deputy Public Protector visits Japanese Cape to analyze ‘disturbing’ experiences about govt hospitals

The report additionally revealed there was an inadequate provide of fresh linen at Livingstone hospital. 

As such, sufferers used their bedding from house due to the scarcity and the casualty unit additionally didn’t have sufficient linen for sufferers.

The report additional revealed that the drainage space on the hospital was defective and worsened rat infestation.

Psychiatric sufferers had been nonetheless accommodated on the hospital – consequently the casualty division should nonetheless cope with psychiatric sufferers who had been doubtlessly harmful at occasions, the report additional revealed.

ALSO READ | ‘We’re not designed for Covid-19’: Employees at EC psychiatric hospital dwelling in concern

There was additionally a scarcity of PPE, equivalent to gumboots, gloves, physique luggage, and thermometers.

Scarcity of nursing and non-clinical employees, equivalent to cleaners and porters, consequently the situations on the hospital, had been typically unhygienic.

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