Sama sending doctors to Limpopo hospital

2013-01-08 14:36

Johannesburg - The SA Medical Association (Sama) said on Tuesday it will deploy doctors to the George Masebe Hospital in Limpopo where four babies died of treatable diseases amid a staff shortage.

"Our members both in public and private 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."

Sama was working with the Limpopo health department to find solutions to the shortage.

Ramathuba said the infants' deaths were tragic and showed that there were management problems in public hospitals.

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

"We acknowledge the fact that people are entitled to take leave over the festive period, [but] we still need answers from the provincial health authorities on why these infants died," she said.

Commission reporting back in a week

Ramathuba said changes needed to be made to ensure people regained their trust in the public health system.

Beeld newspaper reported that Limpopo health MEC Norman Mabasa had called for a commission to investigate the deaths.

"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 the newspaper.

The commission was expected to report back to him within a week.

Mabasa promised to take action if hospital personnel were found to have been negligent.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said the hospital's staff should be held accountable for the infants' deaths.

The union claimed the hospital was 75% full when the babies died, that there was only one doctor on duty, and that basic medical supplies and stocks had been depleted.

It also said three of the hospital's nine doctors resigned in December. According to Mabasa, a 288-bed hospital like George Masebe should have 38 doctors, but it had only eight.

  • sthembiso.jali.50 - 2013-01-08 14:48

    we appreciate their effort but its kind of late don't you think. someone has to account for this.

      faizieishlah.shabalala - 2013-01-08 15:09

      Fire & matches can solve the problem

  • Mbuso Siera - 2013-01-08 14:54

    this shows how incompetent and blank the management is..

  • Bongeka - 2013-01-08 14:54

    Why do we have to lose lives first before action is taken? Why is a 38 Dr facility only has 8 Drs? And why wasn't something done to cover the back log if some of those Drs were going on leave. Somebody has to answer these questions and take responsibility. But the problem is when the rich wage a war it's the poor who die.

      bradleybrits - 2013-01-08 20:09

      Many of the doctors weren't on leave but had resigned. This country will learn the hard way. Although their salaries were improved slightly about 3 years ago it wasn't nearly increased like the government led the public to believe. Doctors are leaving this country at a faster rate than ever before. We work in shocking conditions considering we're professionals who study many many years at university and then are subjected to work in squalor and receive poor salaries relative to what we get outside SA borders. The hospitals have no stock and many support staff are literally untrained at all. Add these "push" factors to the "pull" factors of working in one of many countries wanting our skills who offer salaries up to 10 times what we get here, better working hours, very nice working conditions, good support from well trained nurses and sisters, and well stocked pharmacies and equipment allowing us to work properly and its a no-brainer to leave. Could you imagine a chartered accountant or advocate etc. Imagine they finish all training and then have to start working in a broken down building, sharing one room with 8 other CA's all sharing 2 calculators with missing buttons and broken computers, sitting on broken wood benches and being expected to do the financial year ends of a major JSE listed company. And them having to do that job at 1/10th of their current salary. I think you'd find a similar situation of CA's not taking those jobs in favour of other jobs..

      Ignorance police - 2013-01-09 07:30

      Well said Bradley. Well said.

  • godesha - 2013-01-08 15:00

    "...showed that there were management problems in public hospitals." I think there are management problems everywhere where government has a finger in the pie. For those 4 babies that died, this is a little bit too late, it should never have happened in the first place. May their little souls RIP.

  • johnny.engelbrecht1 - 2013-01-08 15:05

    I read that the president of this country feels white people feel more for there dogs than for their own kind. I wonder if he is aware of a province called Limpopo, kids really got it tough- the survival rate is terrible if you do make it as a baby then you still have the hope of schooling that is falling apart. I really feel sad for the forgotten corrupt province in SA.

  • gary.desousa.5 - 2013-01-08 15:05

    A simple management function of holiday scheduling and the lack of it results in the death of 4 babies. That in any civilized country would result in murder charges againt the officials and management.

  • lybon1 - 2013-01-08 15:11

    Always late, late, late!!!!

  • mitch.dhooghe - 2013-01-08 15:14

    Always reactive rather than proactive!

  • peejay.maclane - 2013-01-08 15:33

    You can send a million doctors there but if the is no medicine, no machines working no food there nothing they can do but watch people die

      Ignorance police - 2013-01-09 07:37

      Absolutely correct. And who took dispensing and stock control away from practitioners? Yep, the same liberation idiots who now call themselves a government

  • brasteve.myaluze - 2013-01-08 15:45

    I saw a headline stating that Limpopo needs some 2000 doctors. Last year I also read that there were about 80 qualified doctors who were not working. Their studies had been sponsored by govt but they couldn't be employed as there was no money to pay them. They could go to other provinces as they had to fulfill their obligations to limpopo

      marie.delarey - 2013-01-08 16:17

      It sounds like it's a mess - needs sorting out from scratch - but where does one start? This can't be allowed to carry on like this - doesn't make sense. Peoples' lives are at stake here!!!

      Deon - 2013-01-08 16:19

      The same with teachers and nurses in some areas in the country.

  • Bongeka - 2013-01-08 16:09

    Reading almost all the comments on this article, it feels good to see that almost everybody is agreeing on one and the same thing. Question is,WHY??? Because we're all directly or indirectly blaming the ANC government. This shows that some people are very tollerant and understanding when it comes to wrong or right. They don't live in denial and they dont look at the party incharge first then make senseless comments. I wish we do the same even if its the opposition that F**ks up. Grow up South Africa.

  • tsebisom - 2013-01-08 16:16

    sad story, does NEHAWU suggests civil acTion against the LMP Health Dpt

  • Zukie G Gilman - 2013-01-08 16:28

    only in SA u'll get something lyk ths ol the tym they always w8 4 some1's death b4 thy do the right thing....!May the Lord b with these families

  • phorane.thokoane - 2013-01-08 16:30

    It goes back to who is running the government. If the head is incapable of rubbing two brain cells together,how do we expect the body to be able to function?.......... The one thing this government is good at is wasting money on commission after another, just to get a group of knuckle heads can tell us what we know already. It is not as if a commission will bring those poor babies back to life anyway. Those poor parents' loss will never be restored, commission or not.......... What happened to taking accountability? What happened to taking jobs seriously? What happened to honouring commitments? Seriously folks, if ever there was a time to rally the masses to speak with their vote, the time is now........ Enough is enough with this garbage.......

  • Erna - 2013-01-08 17:12

    So people are entitled to take leave at Christmas? At a hospital? Surely there is something wrong with this statement and this is an example of gross mismanagement?

      bradleybrits - 2013-01-08 20:16

      Erna there are only 8 doctors at this hospital doing the job of 38! and 3 of which had actually jumped ship and resigned in december and not on leave. At the rate they're going it will be a 0 doctor hospital soon.

      kgotso.selome - 2013-01-09 05:53

      gross negligence and mismanagement. don't they work at least on a skeleton staff on festive season?

  • Berto En Petra Mostert - 2013-01-08 17:25

    You can get far with proper professional nursing care! Why a doctor to care for a newborn baby! What did the nurses do???

      Thapz Peteke - 2013-01-08 22:36

      i m a prof nurse by profession n i will like 2tell u dt d casualties of most hospital r usually full!s nurses w can only do so much,we keep monitoring d patient until d Dr take out where we cant reach!its abt time we stop blaming nurses 4everything!y dont u blame d govnmnt 4nt employing more Drs?a hospital cant operate with only 8 Drs!with all d money d govnmnt is wasting,Y dont dey employ more ppl cos yes we can provide nursing care bt till a certain point!we can resuscitate a person bek 2live bt we work under Drs n everything atleast most of d things,has 2b wat d Dr ordered so if d r no Drs how do u suggest nurses operate on pts?try 2 stabilize 13 dfrnt patients at d same time almost at casualty while u r only 3on duty due 2lack of man power!govnmt need 2fill posts n stop shifting everything 2nurses!y shud we ansa 4our sins AND ansa 4d incompetence of d department n govnmnt?

      Twolips - 2013-01-08 22:46

      Thaps, I hope you don't write your patient reports in txt-speak.

      kgotso.selome - 2013-01-09 05:59

      I agree with thabs. every health care worker have a scope of practice and guided by a certain protocol. from a basic ambulance assistant to a doctor (MD or physician), a nurse cannot do a doctor's job. government should do something to attract more doctors to rural hospitals, maybe compensate them...

  • kgotso.selome - 2013-01-09 06:15

    what's with the commission?, pay the damn doctors well, attract them to rural hospitals and compensate them. being back the retirees who can still do the job. and stop wasting money on this commissions. how much money is the commission going to spend in one sitting discussing what we already know?

      Sbonelo Dladla - 2013-01-09 09:16

      its about time

  • sello.mohale3 - 2013-01-10 13:32

    From one crisis to another. Poor Limpopo. I feel sorry for the George Masebe management team for making it to the news. What has happened there may have happened any where in the province. The minister of health has admitted previously that hospital management in the province needs a major shake-up. But the challenges don't end there. The province is under administration and that by itself tells a big story of Limpopo. Heads must roll! But which ones? Where is the line from one head to another?

  • pages:
  • 1