Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has lowest staff attendance among Gauteng's largest hospitals - DA

2020-02-02 18:27
Jack Bloom. (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images)

Jack Bloom. (Lucky Morajane, Gallo Images)

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Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has the lowest staff attendance of the seven largest hospitals in Gauteng, recorded at 72% last year, DA spokesperson on health in the province, Jack Bloom, said in a statement on Sunday.

Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku revealed this in a written reply to Bloom's questions in the provincial legislature.

"According to Masuku, the low attendance rate is mainly due to 'staff who take or are on sick leave, including those who are on the Policy and Procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement (PILIR) process and Family Responsibility leave'," Bloom explained.

Bloom further stated that according to unconfirmed data, it is believed that the category of staff with the lowest attendance at the said hospital are nurses.

"The [Gauteng Health] department regards 90% attendance as acceptable, but 6 of the 7 largest public hospitals in Gauteng do not meet this standard which is worrying.

"Low attendance rates put a lot of strain on the staff who remain, depressing their morale and the quality of patient care," Bloom added.

According to Bloom, the low morale and poor management at Bara Hospital can be attributed to the low attendance rate.

'Highly stressed environments'

"Our hospitals are highly stressed environments, so staff need to be managed properly to assist them in their jobs, but also disciplined when they are absent without good reason or abuse sick leave," he concluded.

The hospital which recorded the highest attendance is Helen Joseph Hospital at 93%, followed by Charlotte Maxeke and Tembisa hospitals with 89% attendance rates.

Closely behind is Kalafong Hospital with 87%, Steve Biko Hospital with 86%, and George Mukhari Hospital with 83%.

Gauteng Department of Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana clarified that the seven largest hospitals in Gauteng were piloted for monitoring since 2017, and at the pilot phase 70% was the acceptable attendance rate, but has since increased the acceptable level to 90% at roll-out phase in 2019/2020.

"Low attendance is owing to sick leave and family responsibility leave," she told News24 on Sunday.

The Gauteng health department adds that the following steps have been taken to improve attendance rates at hospitals:

 - Improving staff morale

 - Implementing occupational health employee wellness services at all hospitals

 - Improving resource allocation

 - Improving workplace environment

 - Improving HR and LR practices

 - Strengthening the PILIR practices

 - The inclusion of staff attendance features on the Mpilo App

Read more on:    da  |  bandile masuku  |  jack bloom  |  johannesburg  |  pretoria  |  service delivery  |  health

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