PE’s hospital of horrors

An exclusive, weeks-long BBC investigation inside filthy hospitals in South Africa has exposed an extraordinary array of systemic failures showing how exhausted doctors and nurses are overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and a health service near collapse.

With key staff on strike or sick with coronavirus in the Eastern Cape province, nurses are forced to act as cleaners, surgeons are washing their own hospital laundry and there are alarming reports of unborn babies dying in overcrowded and understaffed maternity wards.

As doctors, unions and management fight over scarce resources, one senior doctor described the situation as “an epic failure of a deeply corrupt system”, while another spoke of “institutional burn-out… a sense of chronic exploitation, the department of health essentially bankrupt, and a system on its knees with no strategic management”.

The revelations come just as South Africa – which held the coronavirus back for months with an early, tough, and economically devastating lockdown – now sees infection rates soar nationwide, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to warn that “the storm is upon us”.Full story and hospital video here

BBCsource