The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called for a high-level investigation into the linen shortage crisis at the PE Provincial Hospital. Bobby Stevenson, MPL DA leader in the Eastern Cape provincial legislature, said the crisis shows how health services in the Eastern Cape have collapsed.

“I’ve been informed that the provincial hospital has run out of clean linen and that children are sleeping under curtains. This highlights the extent to which health services in the Eastern Cape has collapsed. There needs to be a high-level enquiry.”

Stevenson will be assisted by, Shadow MEC of Health, Jane Cowley to investigate the “matter urgently”.


In a Daily Maverick report, doctors were begging hospital management to cover a few beds with sheets to admit critically ill patients at the PE provincial and Livingstone hospitals.

According to the report linen cupboards at Gqeberha’s provincial and Livingstone hospitals are running bare. Doctors reportedly do not have enough hospital gowns or sheets to prepare beds for patients. The publication further reports that doctors used ward curtains to cover children with cancer in one of the wards.

Desperate health workers are reportedly begging hospital management to allow them to call on the public to donate linen or to help clean the wards.


Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo reportedly confirmed the problem with linen at hospitals.

“There are discussions to look at putting up appropriate laundry services for health facilities in the area,” Kupelo told the Daily Maverick.

“Last month, when we visited with MEC Nomakhosazana Meth, we were told that outsourcing was very expensive so the proposal is for the hospital to insource laundry services.”

In March, non-urgent patients who arrived at the hospital for treatment from across the province, were reportedly turned away due to limited beds owing to linen problems.

READ: PPE worth R20m destroyed in Carletonville Hospital fire


Presh JM Reporter

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