Haematology head considers legal action

Mkhululi Ndamase

A FRUSTRATED Dr Neil Littleton, who heads Port Elizabeth’s Provincial Hospital haematology unit, is considering taking legal action against the Eastern Cape Health Department for failing to staff the R20-million haematology ward, which is a first of its kind in the province.

The ward has been standing unused since May last year when it was officially opened. It was meant to give patients suffering from debilitating illnesses like leukaemia a new lease on life, but they still have to travel to Cape Town, Pretoria or Durban to be treated – often because of a basic issue like a shortage of beds.

Sometimes they have to be added to long waiting lists at other state hospitals, or sent back home.

Littleton, who would not say what the legal action entailed, said yesterday they had exhausted every other possible option, “but every time our attempts just fall on deaf ears”.

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