Saturday 24 February

Financial Crisis in the Eastern Cape Department of Health

May 30th 2012

Over the last two weeks SECTION27 together with our partners the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP), TAC, Africa Health Placements (AHP), Rural Rehabilitation South Africa (RuRESA), the Rural Doctors Association (RuDASA) and the South African Medical Association have received many reports from health care professionals and activists within the Eastern Cape who are concerned about the rapid decline in service delivery in the province.

These reports chronicle a variety of issues including non-payment of staff, drug stock-outs and shortages of basic medical supplies, and point to widespread systemic failures in the management and financing of services in the province. Although the crisis has been devastating to all types of state health facilities in the province, the impact of delayed or non-payment of critical healthcare workers and the difficulties in replacing such essential staff is even more acutely felt in rural areas, where healthcare teams are small and extremely fragile.

This briefing note for the public and the media outlines the tenuous financial position of the department, based on official internal Eastern Cape Department of Health documents that we have obtained.

Read the complete note by clicking “read more” below.

SECTION27 comments on important draft hospital regulations


Yesterday, SECTION27 responded to the “Draft Regulations Relating to the Categorisation of Hospitals” issued by the Minister of Health on 12 August 2011. The regulations aim to comprehensively categorise hospitals; if drafted properly they will improve health care service provision, offer important guidelines to health care providers and enable civil society to hold hospitals and government accountable.
Unfortunately, shortcomings in the draft regulations render them incapable of fulfilling this potential without significant revision.
The submission, sent to the Director-General of Health on 11 October 2011, identifies numerous shortcomings in the draft regulations.

Report on investigation into infant deaths at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital released

SECTION27 welcomes the release of the report on the investigation into the tragic deaths of six infants on 18 May 2010 at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital (“the Hospital”) in Johannesburg. The report raises serious concerns about the extent to which the Gauteng Department of Health and Social Development (“the Department”) adheres to norms and standards related to human resources, and the consequent overcrowding in public health facilities in the province.

WDA