‘Hospital manager at fault’

2008-10-07 00:00

The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department has blamed the manager of Stanger Hospital for the controversy surrounding the employment of two doctors from Britain who were supposed to start work at there in September.

Yesterday The Witness reported that the two doctors, Sam Rigg (27) and Matthew Blundell (26), were promised jobs, but were allegedly later informed that the posts could not be filled for lack of funds.

Leon Mbangwa, a Health Department spokesman, said yesterday that the delay was due to the hospital trying to finalise work permits for the doctors.

However, the doctors disputed the statement.

Rigg said they both have work permits, “so that is not the problem at all”.

In a departure from his earlier statement, Mbangwa blamed the debacle on a hospital manager, saying that he had entered into an employment contract without proper authorisation from the acting head of department.

In the face of measures taken to curb over-expenditure, Mbangwa said in a written statement, the department instructed all hospital managers to submit recommendations for critical posts in their institutions so that they could be approved for filling.

The hospital manager “chose not to follow this directive” and did not tell the management that he had promised jobs to doctors from overseas, Mbangwa added.

He defended district manager Sibongile Dube and CFO Sipho Buthelezi, saying the two had done “everything in their best capability to secure the employment of the two doctors”.

Mbangwa dismissed as lies suggestions that Buthelezi had refused to approve the employment.

“We must advise Drs Rigg and Blundell that the public service in KwaZulu-Natal, like elsewhere in the world, has protocols and procedures,” he said.

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