Part of managing the response to the pandemic includes ensuring availability of medicine in our health facilities. We can confirm to the people of the province that at our hospitals medicine availability during the coronavirus pandemic is at 82.2% at the depot, 92.6 % for Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing programme and at 86.1 % in our clinics. Our Depots have less than 80% availability because medicine is distributed timeously to the health facilities.

This means we have the required medication in adequate supply to continue providing quality health care to the people of our province and we will continue buying more medicine to replenish our medicine stocks. With regards to the availability of PPE in our facilities, it current stands at 78.7 % above the national PPE availability status of 78 %.

Our monitoring of hospitalisation rates, delivery progress of infrastructure, oxygen and equipment, drug and PPE availability will continue to ensure proper management of stock and resources as well as cautious ramping up of Primary Health Care and None Communicable Diseases services in our province. 

We have completed 64 % of oxygen audits at 28 sites and because oxygen is the mainstay of our response to coronavirus, we will complete the audit at the remaining facilities in the current week. In the province we have 2084 bed space with oxygen points and completion of work to install oxygen points for 883 bed spaces is underway. 

Going forward, we will continue to monitor SASSA Pay points, sporting activities, funerals, and particularly schools as they are re-opening. Home Affairs queues for Matrics and Covid-19 death certificates is a concern. We will engage home affairs to understand why we are seeing these high numbers of people outside and inside Home Affairs offices so that we can work with them to find a solution to this challenge.  

The previously reported flashpoints of labour disputes in Empilweni TB Hospital and Komani Mental Hospital have been resolved with the necessary disciplinary measures underway against the instigators in Komani Hospital. The march on Bhisho by a group of nurses and Community Health Workers on the 17th August 2020 was resolved amicably following the intervention by the Superintendent General of the provincial department of Health.

We are preparing for the planned Nehawu strike scheduled for this week and we want to appeal to those workers who will be protesting not to prevent other workers, especially essential workers from serving the people of our province. Essential workers provide an essential service and their mandate must be respected. ​