Public protector’s findings on PPEs ‘shocking and distressing’ - SAMA

Public protector’s findings on PPEs ‘shocking and distressing’ - SAMA

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has described the findings by the public protector on the dire shortage of personal protective equipment at 17 health facilities as “shocking and distressing”.

Coronavirus France  - AFP

SAMA chairperson Dr Angeliqe Coetzee has called for urgent intervention.

She said the findings announced by Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka on Monday point to a lack of proper management at these institutions.

“SAMA says unless urgent steps are taken to correct this situation, health workers are placing themselves and their families at unnecessary risk of contracting Covid-19.”

She said among the findings were a shortage of PPE, bad quality and ill-fitting PPE, or equipment which is simply not delivered. 

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The report also notes shortages of oxygen points, thermometers, disposable bins, and decanters.

“Of particular concern are the findings related to healthcare workers. Firstly, there is a ‘chronic shortage’ of nurses, and secondly, the report finds that doctors are being overworked; they’re expected to work excessive hours,” Coetzee said. 

“We have raised these issues over and over again to no avail, but it is clear that intervention is needed now.”

She said the SA Medical Association would “interrogate” the public protector’s report and would seek to raise these issues with the relevant authorities.

“We now know we have a major problem on our hands, and it’s only going to get worse unless interventions are made quickly.”

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