Middelburg hospital ready for action

2013-03-28 22:31

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Johannesburg - Problems at Middelburg provincial hospital have been resolved and the hospital is ready for the Easter weekend, the Mpumalanga health department said on Thursday.

Spokesperson Ronnie Masilela said Health MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini visited the hospital on Wednesday, where she met management, staff, and unions.

This was prompted by rumours of a strike or go-slow at the hospital over issues, including staff shortages.

He said these rumours were not true.

The hospital had 18 doctors, and three more would start work in April.

Four applications were received from other doctors looking for employment and their applications were being checked.

If they were found to be in order, the doctors would begin work by the end of next month.

Two more professional nurses were appointed and 26 auxiliary nurses, who had already received training, were being contacted to begin work immediately.

Medicine shortages were addressed when supplies were delivered on Thursday.

"The MEC announced that [the hospital's] unroadworthy vehicles are to be scrapped immediately," Masilela said.

The hospital was assessing its vehicles and it had to plan, budget for them, and buy new vehicles immediately.

He acknowledged that there were shortages of cleaners and laundry staff, but said these posts had been advertised.

"Hospital staff burnt the applications because of allegations of nepotism. We will re-advertise all these posts as a matter of urgency."

The district would begin the recruitment process while the nepotism allegations were investigated.

The Democratic Alliance claimed the hospital had only five doctors and it was "filthy dirty".

In a statement, Mpumalanga DA chief whip James Masango said the DA was shocked by conditions at the hospital.

He said the DA was "highly doubtful that, with the Easter long weekend upon us, it is equipped to deal with multiple road accident victims requiring urgent medical attention".

On Wednesday, the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (Nupsaw) raised similar concerns.

"The freeway passing through this area is carrying increased traffic, but due to the dire need of medical staff the hospital won't be able to assist the victims of road accidents efficiently," Nupsaw said in a statement.

Nupsaw said it, the National Education, Health, and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu), the Democratic Nurses Organisation of SA (Denosa), and the doctors of the SA Medical Association handed a memorandum stating their concerns to the minister of health on Monday.

They warned Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi of their intention to embark on a go-slow and to "seal" the human resources department until action was taken.

- SAPA
Read more on:    da  |  mbombela  |  health
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