MEC Mahlangu visits Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
13 Jul 2009
In the first two weeks of her appointment, Gauteng MEC for Health and Social Development Ms Qedani Mahlangu spent days at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on a fact finding mission and to identify challenges facing the hospital.
During her visit Mahlangu toured the hospital and introduced herself to staff. She also met representatives of medical interns, nurses, unions and hospital board members. Mahlangu said "I am here to listen to your issues and to offer support and leadership."
The employees raised issues about working conditions. They told Mahlangu about ageing and faulty equipment, shortage of staff at all levels, overcrowding resulting into the shortage of beds to accommodate patients.
Responding to some of the issues, MEC Mahlangu said there is a need to act swiftly to appoint staff in critical positions that have been vacant for a while.
"We need to establish some ground rules that will speak to the turnaround time for filling of critical posts. There is also a need to look into what has been working well and continue with it, as well as interventions that are needed to change things" she said.
Long queues and overcrowding at Chris Hani is mainly caused by patients whose ailments can be treated at other lower levels of health care, such as district and provincial hospitals. However, instead of turning patients away they accommodate them "Our policy is that we never turn back patients who present themselves at hospital. As a tertiary institution we have to attend to patients with critical care needs," said medical doctors at the hospital.
"To address long queues at the hospital we will consider opening the Hillbrow Hospital to relieve Chris Hani Baragwanath from pressure," MEC announced to staff who welcomed the news with jubilation. She continued saying that it can't be right that just because you are cannot afford private healthcare patients who visit our facilities should be subjected to inhumane treatment.
"Patients wait in long queues to be attended by a doctor and at times are turned away are turned away, we cannot allow such a situation to continue. We have a duty to uphold the dignity of the vulnerable we serve," she said.
Issued by: Department of Health, Gauteng Provincial Government
13 July 2009
Source: Department of Health, Gauteng Provincial Government (http://www.health.gpg.gov.za)
Issued by: Gauteng Health
13 Jul 2009
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