E Cape hospital 'an embarrassment'

2011-07-08 08:08

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.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  health

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