E Cape hospital 'an embarrassment'
Queenstown - The CEO of Komani Psychiatric
Hospital at Queenstown in the Eastern Cape has been suspended, the Dispatch
Online reported on Friday.
Eastern Cape health MEC Sicelo Gqobana visited
the hospital on Thursday following reports of gross mistreatment of patients
and served CEO Mandisa Oliphant and store manager Khonzisa Pango with letters
of intent to suspend them.
He described the hospital as an
"embarrassment" to the health department.
His visit came after the Bhisho portfolio
committee on health highlighted the dire state of affairs at Komani on Tuesday.
The visits by the portfolio committee and the MEC were prompted by a recent
Daily Dispatch report on the hospital.
In the report, workers alleged human rights
violations, including patients being placed on soup diets, a shortage of beds
with some patients sleeping on “floor beds”, and a dysfunctional laundry.
During the MEC’s visit, Komani staff members
also said that there was no hot water available.
The MEC was shown a three-litre urn being
used to boil water so that 25 patients in one ward could wash.
“This is unbelievable. I just saw storerooms
stocked from floor to roof with clothes, food and mattresses and yet these
people are left to live like this.
“The management is making the patients even
more sick. This is a gross violation of human rights and we can be charged for
this by the Human Rights Commission,” said Gqobana.