31 August 2020 - NW1964
Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health
With reference to the open letter written to him by a nurse at SS Gida Hospital in Keiskammahoek in the Eastern Cape in June 2020 (details furnished), detailing the level of neglect at that hospital, which included a lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and in-hospital infection of patients by Covid-19, what (a) steps has he taken to ensure that the hospital is provided with sufficient PPEs and (b) has he done to hold those responsible for the neglect at SS Gida Hospital to account?
a) According to hospital management, SS Gida Hospital has not had a stock-out of PPEs. This is supported by site visits conducted by NEHAWU on 29th of April 2020, provincial office team on 06 May 2020 and district management on 20 June 2020. SS Gida was allocated appropriate volumes of PPEs by the Port Elizabeth depot. However, the shortage at the facility occurred as a result of inappropriate use of PPEs, for example health care workers preferred to use N95 masks even in settings where surgical mask would suffice.
b) National Guidelines on Infection Prevention and Control have been developed which includes the use of PPEs. Training on these guidelines will be provided to staff with the expected outcome including the rational use of PPEs.
c) Once training is provided and all staff are appropriately knowledgeable on the rational use of PPEs, consequence management interventions will be implemented.