Hospital accused of barring DA man

2011-10-18 12:55

Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospital was accused today of refusing entry to Democratic Alliance MPL Jack Bloom.

“I am not a criminal, but this morning [Tuesday] I was barred from Chris Hani-Baragwanath hospital by security guards,” Bloom said.

He took a photograph of a picture of himself posted on the window of the guard house. “Guards told me they were instructed to bar me,” he said.

He said it was his right, duty and an essential part of his job as a member of the Gauteng legislature to perform oversight visits in the public interest.

“This hospital has been plagued by problems that I have exposed, which is why they want to stop me from visiting,” he said.

“They [the guards] said management didn’t like the fact that I visit and take photographs. This is outrageous.”

The hospital denied barring Bloom, but said he needed to follow proper procedures. Spokesperson Nkosiyethu Mazibuko said he was not aware of any picture of Bloom being posted, and described the claim as “irrelevant”.

What was relevant was that even when making unannounced visits, Bloom had to inform the hospital to let it know he was on the premises, Mazibuko said.

This was because each person on the property needed to be accounted for in case “something bad” happened.

“No, he has not been barred. When you want to come to the institution it’s either as a patient or to visit [a patient]. If Mr Bloom wants to come he must make a formal request.”

Mazibuko said people should not go into a hospital and “just snoop around and leave”. “Phone me at my door and say I’m here, I’m here at your place. We [the hospital] have nothing to hide.”

Bloom said he did not need permission to visit a hospital. “My right to make unannounced visits to hospitals has been affirmed by the Integrity Commissioner of the Gauteng Legislature,” he said.

DA leader Helen Zille has called the incident a “Jack-attack”. On social networking site Twitter, she tweeted: “Bloom barred from Bara – ANC tries to stop @JackBloomDA from doing his work to support the poor. ANC stop your Jack-attack.”

“@helenzille that is shocking. I work at Bara though, even if he did come along I don’t think the guards would even realise its him,” tweeted M_Manjra.

Responding to Zille, @scattermichelle wrote: “@helenzille once again the ANC looks out for itself at the cost of the poor.”

Kabza_kb however doubted Bloom’s intentions, tweeting that he thought Bloom’s motive was not related to supporting the poor but “more like snooping around”.

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