Canzibe Hospital is a 120 bed hospital in Nqeleni area in the Eastern Cape. For some time, the hospital has experienced a severe shortage of doctors and rehabilitation specialists. The shortage has meant that outreach services were halted and remaining doctors overworked and under-supported. ECHCAC member, the Rural Health Advocacy Project (“RHAP”) began engaging with the Eastern Cape Department of Health (“ECDoH”) on the matter as early as October 2016. When no additional doctors were appointed in 2017, ECHCAC wrote to the ECDoH in March 2017 noting that the longer that this staff shortage continues, the more violations of the constitutional rights of health care service users are occurring.
On 3 May 2017, we received a response from the ECDoH stating that the Department is concluding the recruitment processes for the appointment of 3 medical officers who are due to start in July 2017. We were told that the department is also planning to recruit one more medical officer as per the Annual Recruitment Plan, but this is still awaiting approval of the Office of the Premier.
We welcome these undertakings. We will remain in touch with the ECDoH to ensure that they are fulfilled. We have followed up regarding the appointment of rehab specialists and rumoured downgrading of the hospital.
For more information on Canzibe, read RHAP’s HRH crisis report: Cutting Human Resources for Health – Who Pays? RHAP 2017