In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.
THE Eastern Cape department of health has rejected claims that it is lying about the future of the historic St Lucy'sHospital.
The Congress of the People said this week that health MEC Phumulo Masualle and his officials "continue to lie and mislead the community" about their commitment to keeping the hospital open.
A new hospital, the R218million Dr Malizo Mpehle Hospital, opened its doors last week in Tsolo and will be officially handed over to the community today.
Cope said in a statement that the MEC met community leaders last week and assured them that the new hospital would not lead to the closure of the 100-year-old St Lucy's Hospital, 20km from the town.
"A few minutes after they left government vehicles arrived to dismantle equipment, including machinery that was donated to the hospital by the Japanese government," Cope said.
"The fact that the ANC-led government ruins a rural hospital serving 42 villages far away from the town is indicative of a party that only pays lip service to rural development."
But, Health Department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo denied that any of St Lucy's equipment was removed.
The government had spent R17million on state-of-the-art equipment for the new hospital and some of it had been stored at St Lucy's while Malizo Mpehle was being built, he said.
It was this equipment that had been moved from the old hospital.
He said St Lucy's would continue operating.
It would have 40 in-patient beds, allowing for extended stays by patients with conditions such as hypertension, HIV-Aids and tuberculosis. - Sapa