Eastern Cape health MEC reports call centre managers to the Public Service Commission over lapsed licences
Eastern Cape MEC for Health Nomakhosazana Meth has reported managers at the department’s shared call centre to the Public Service Commission to be investigated for allowing vital software licences, needed to run the centre, to lapse.
On Monday 31 October, the shared call centre of the Eastern Cape Department of Health was paralysed after the software licences it needed to operate were not renewed in time.
Provincial health department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said the shared call centre was established as an important communication vehicle between the department and its clients, with the aim of providing a prompt response to service delivery complaints such as ambulance delays and long queues in hospitals.
“The collapse of the call centre is a result of a delay to procure licences which ensure its effective functioning,” he said.
Apart from hospital and admission inquiries and complaints, the call centre also handled emergency calls from the 112 cellphone number, Kupelo said.
All incidents in hospitals that require investigating are also reported through this call centre.
Kupelo said Meth had instructed the acting head of the department, Sindiswa Gede, to report the matter to the director-general and refer it to the Public Service Commission to investigate the failure of some senior managers in the department to procure the licences required to ensure the call centre functioned optimally.
“Microsoft gave the department a 14-day grace period to renew the expired licences. The terms of reference for the investigation may include payments and procurement of all licences and servers or related services in the department.”
He said the incident was viewed in a serious light and that the investigation would probe if “personalities and egos” led to the collapse of the call centre. DM