A factfinding mission to the Robert Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley today, to gauge the facility’s capacity to deal with Eskom’s rolling blackouts, has raised suspicions that the province’s only tertiary hospital has something to hide.
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After a hostile reception and initially being denied access to the facility, myself and Team One SA member, John Steenhuisen, together with other members of our delegation, were eventually ushered into a boardroom. We were kept waiting for over and an hour before the Head of Ministry, Xolile Jack, and the Spokesperson to MEC Fufe Makatong, Lebogang Mojaha, eventually met with us.
It is out outrageous that MPs and MPLs are refused to perform our oversight duties by an increasingly territorial ANC, that seems to be closing ranks to keep the public in the dark.
If it’s not rolling blackouts from Eskom, then it’s information black outs instituted by the failing ANC government.
While we finally managed to ask a number of questions relating to generator capacity at the hospital, we were told that the health ministry would need 24 hours to respond.
It is strange that such basic questions relating to back-up generators, generator operating costs and adverse incidents relating to generator failures, could not be answered on the spot.
We ourselves know of past incidents whereby generators have failed to go on, and theatre staff have had to complete medical operations by way of cellphone light.
We cannot help but suspect that the health ministry is remaining mum in an effort to keep the full truth from us.
We will await the promised report by Mr Jack tomorrow. We will most definitely be scrutinising it closely and if we are not satisfied, we will return to the facility, with an expert on power supply, to institute a further investigation into the hospitals power capacity.
Given the looming threat of stage 5 and 6 loadshedding, it is critical that the impact of the power crisis on the health sector be determined as a matter of urgency, before heath related tragedies strike.
The uncaring ANC, however, is more intent on protecting its relationship with corruption, especially in the health and electricity sectors.
Only change under a DA-led government will strive to keep the lights and quality health services powered up at all times, for all.