Eastern Cape healthcare system is starting to fall over as infections take off
The Eastern Cape’s largest casualty and emergency unit (it’s also a dedicated Covid-19 isolation site) at Livingstone Hospital is closed.
The closure is due to absent staff, lack of personal protective equipment and complaints by doctors that the Accident and Emergency Unit hasn’t been cleaned in three days.
The shutdown comes just as the Eastern Cape passed Gauteng to become South Africa second-most affected province.
Refilwe Moloto interviewed Daily Maverick journalist, Estelle Ellis.
Ellis says that Department of Health indicated in a spreadsheet it gave to the provincial command council that no sterile gloves were delivered to the Nelson Mandela Bay district.
Our health system has never been as healthy [as that of the Western Cape] … the province is so rural… a lot of systemic problems… massive staff shortages… health facilities are taking strain…Estelle Ellis, journalist - Daily Maverick
A lot of very dedicated doctors, nurses and health workers are really trying their best… PPE is a massive problem… A huge problem with cleaning staff… it’s horrendous, the way the place looked…Estelle Ellis, journalist - Daily Maverick
[This is the outcome of a failed province, right?] Yes… It seems like there’s no urgency to fix it…Estelle Ellis, journalist - Daily Maverick
Our infections are rising rapidly… a lot of nurses and doctors had to be quarantined…. I don’t think we’re OK anymore… We’re very rapidly running out of capacity. I’m worried… We’re heading towards a struggle.Estelle Ellis, journalist - Daily Maverick
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
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