PSA condemns hospital deaths

2013-01-08 20:26

Johannesburg - The Public Servants Association (PSA) on Tuesday condemned the deaths of four babies at George Masebe Hospital in Mokopane, Limpopo.

The babies reportedly died of treatable diseases last week, as the hospital faced severe staff shortages.

PSA manager in Limpopo, Pieter Koen, said what was disturbing was that the province had a vacancy level of 70% for medical doctors.

"What is even more disturbing is the fact that the MEC and senior officials of the health department are well aware of the shortage of doctors at numerous hospitals in the province," he said.

Beeld newspaper reported that provincial Health MEC Norman Mabasa said the 288-bed hospital should have 38 doctors, but that it had only eight.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union said only one doctor was on duty when the deaths occurred.

The SABC reported that there was not only a shortage of doctors, but that the hospital's entire management was on leave at the time of the deaths.

Mabasa said a commission of inquiry would look into the matter.

"I want to know exactly how and when each child died. As we understand it, two died shortly after they arrived in the casualty unit, and the other two died after being admitted to the wards," he told Beeld.

The commission was expected to report back to him within a week. He promised to take action if hospital personnel were found to have been negligent.

Koen said the inquiry would not fix the problem and recommended that the vacancies be filled urgently.

Meanwhile, the SA Medical Association (Sama) has since said it would send doctors to the hospital's paediatric ward.

"Our members, both in public and private [practice], have volunteered, starting today [Tuesday], with paediatric ward rounds," said Sama chairperson Phophi Ramathuba.

"We will be taking turns in providing health services until the situation is normalised."

  • judith.p.miller.7 - 2013-01-08 20:53

    Services falling apart.....

      Ignorance police - 2013-01-09 07:27

      They fell apart more than 10 years ago.

  • vermeulenjanine - 2013-01-08 21:07

    The problem isn't just the people leaving fannie - its the fact that there aren't enough places in our universities for people to study. I'm 27 and have been wanting to study medicine for the last few years - getting in has been nearly impossible. Last try applying this year. We need another university or the current ones need to be given funds to expand so they can accept more students.

  • Mbuso Siera - 2013-01-08 21:08

    where are the doctors the government has given scholarships to go study in Cuba,Wits,UCT,Mendunsa .....and the professional nurses the government has trained for free to serve their communities.........this country needs lots of doctors,professional nurses and engineers but yet the youth is unemployed.....does our unemployed youth have matric with excellent marks or what......

  • Terence Hermanus - 2013-01-08 21:13

    go see Dora and livingstone in p.e... i cant believe cANCer would do that to their own people... die hell wag...

      wonderboy.ngubeni - 2013-01-08 21:25

      Go jump you racist turd

  • wonderboy.ngubeni - 2013-01-08 21:24

    There we go again, racists blaming the ANC for everything lol blame my party for global warming aspell oh don't forget to blame the Anc for making 2012 end lol, this is a joke. Treasoners must be hung by their testicles

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-01-08 21:51

      How, exactly, wonderboy.ngubeni, is criticising the government and the ruling party treason? Also, it's not racist to criticise people who are not doing the job they're paid to do. So please, please wind your neck in.

      Erna - 2013-01-08 22:28

      Wonderboy - so who is to blame then? Is'nt your party in charge in Limpopo? And let me put you right - the PSA has a huge number of black members. The only one that never fails to offer racist comments, no matter what the subject, is yourself.

  • Erna - 2013-01-08 22:18

    I am sure the mec knew about the shortages, and if he didn't, why not? It's his job to know. Why does it take deaths and a huge media outrage before something is done? Why the surprise from the mec?

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-09 10:54

    In the meantime a clinic is supposedly being build in Nkandla.

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