The global Covid-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on the cracks and fractures in SA’s overburdened state health-care system — and nowhere has its glare been more devastating than the broken hospitals of the Eastern Cape.

For years the courts, law enforcement bodies, the auditor-general and human rights and legal organisations have raised alarms about the toxic mix of shocking governance, wholly inadequate record-keeping, health worker negligence and criminality that has resulted in the province racking up a staggering R29bn in medico-legal damages claims against it — R5bn more than its annual budget...

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