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'Subhuman conditions for cancer patient at Livingstone Hospital'

Jul 12, 2019
'Subhuman conditions for cancer patient at Livingstone Hospital'

Port Elizabeth - The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Friday said that the Eastern Cape Department of Health is failing the people of this province through a wilful disregard in providing the most basic care, and a complete lack of compassion for the sick, the dying and the family of those affected.

"On the 11th of June, a Port Elizabeth woman waited for five hours in vain for an ambulance to transport her desperately ill brother to Livingstone Hospital," said Jane Cowley (MPL), DA Eastern Cape Shadow MEC for Health.

"She eventually resorted to paying a private ambulance service to transfer him, and then was horrified to see her dying brother being forced to lie on a bed of such poor quality that it was not fit for human use.

"That security guards have been briefed to prevent photographs from being taken inside a public facility is a clear indication of a Department that has something to hide."

Cowley said that several other visitors were sitting on chairs next to their ill family members, but when the woman sat on a chair, she was told to get up as the chairs were for patients and not for visitors.

"As a last insult, she was instructed to leave the ward when her brother was about to pass, and she could not be with him in his last moments. He died alone, after lying on that bed for eight and a half hours," she described.

"This despicable treatment of patients and their families is an indictment on the failing health care system in this province.

Cowley said that the Health Department is beset with challenges such as ongoing corruption at the highest levels, union interference in critical post provisioning, an almost entirely collapsed EMS system, protectionism and cadre deployment, all firmly rooted in Livingstone Hospital and proudly brought to you by an ANC government that cannot even get the basics right.

"I have written to the MEC for Health to demand that a full investigation be done into this tragic incident and that those responsible for this shameful treatment of a dying man be brought to book."

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