East London – In a significant move towards bolstering healthcare services, the Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Noxolo Kiviet, embarked on an insightful visit to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital in Mdantsane on Thursday.

During the visit, Minister Kiviet, accompanied by the Acting HOD of Eastern Cape Health, Ms. Sindiswa Gede, CEO Mr. Msi, and the hospital management, toured the hospital and examined its various facilities. The Minister emphasized the urgent need to fill vacant posts to ensure uninterrupted services to the people of East London and its vicinity, stating:

“The urgent filling of posts is critical in ensuring uninterrupted services to the people of East London and surroundings.”

Minister Kiviet underscored that the filling of vacant posts is essential for institutionalizing norms and standards for service delivery, not only affecting the quality of administration but also the number of personnel available.

Additionally, the Minister’s visit extended to the Staff Wellness Clinic and Lingomso Youth Center, underlying the significance of providing adequate psychosocial services to public service staff, aligning with the Minister’s commitment articulated in the Budget Vote speech in May 2023.

Recognizing the impact of overtime remuneration juxtaposed with the prevailing unemployment rate, Minister Kiviet pointed out that redirecting some of the funds allocated for overtime remuneration could potentially assist in the recruitment of new employees in light of the unemployment crisis in South Africa.

“Empowering the hospital with a full staff complement is crucial for relieving the burden on existing employees,” said Minister Kiviet.

The Minister’s visit to the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital served as a testament to her commitment to the provision of comprehensive healthcare for public servants, a pivotal stride towards enhancing public service delivery and fortifying the welfare of public service staff.

Named after Cecilia Makiwane, the first African registered professional nurse in what would become South Africa and a pioneering figure in the struggle for women’s rights, the hospital holds a reputable position within the healthcare landscape.

The Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, reclassified as a Regional Hospital after the de-complexing of the East London Hospital Complex in 2013, has been essential in providing comprehensive medical and supportive care to the community.

With a current capacity to accommodate 586 patients, the hospital operates with a staff complement of 1524 employees out of 1581 posts, reflecting a commendable vacancy rate of 3.6%. The hospital is structured across two wings, the old and new, with the latter being launched in 2017 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, then Deputy President.

The hospital’s extensive service package encompasses various medical specialities including Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Neonatal Services, Trauma, Emergency and Family Medicine, Anaesthesia and Adult Intensive Care, Orthopaedics, Diagnostic Radiology, Mental Health, Ophthalmology, Oral Health, Dermatology, Renal dialysis services, and Clinical Support, among others. Notably, it also serves as a hub for training, research, and support, housing the Monti Clinical Research Centre led by a locally-based team with vast experience in clinical research and trials.