I must congratulate Business Day's Sarah Wild for bringing the political witch-hunt against Dr Basil Brown and company into the public domain. Dr Brown's mistake was to voice his displeasure at the health crisis in the Port Elizabeth Complex.

It was reported a few days ago that the complex is cutting down on the number of procedures due to staff shortages and lack of equipment. Instead of addressing the problems, the provincial health department is after the whistle-blowers.

Pure victimisation.

I am disappointed at the silence of the ministry of health. I searched the weekend papers in the hope that Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi would have said something. Nothing! Why is he quiet in the face of a blatant abuse of power by ego-inflated officials? They are playing Russian roulette with patients' lives. Dr Brown did nothing wrong. As a doctor, your patients are your first priority. There is no room for political expediency. Read the Hippocratic Oath. Doctors should be able to speak out for their patients. This is exactly what Dr Brown did. If you can't stand up for your patients, who will?

The Eastern Cape health department is the one that must face the disciplinary committee for its incompetence and bringing the country into disrepute. It has failed in its managerial duties by letting down the patients and undermining healthcare.

Is it not time for the ministry to intervene? First it must stop this kangaroo court. It is a waste of time and resources. Why is the provincial health department not focusing on critical issues that can improve patient care?

I wish the provincial health department had shown the same vigour in tackling the nonpayment of doctors.

Dr Lucas Ntyintyane

Bloemfontein