The chief executive and nursing manager of Holy Cross Hospital in the Eastern Cape have been suspended with immediate effect, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced in Pretoria today.
The suspension follows an investigation conducted by the national department of health last week. The investigation was triggered by a damning report released by the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Coalition on Wednesday last week.
The report, Death and Dying in the Eastern Cape, was the result of an investigation into the collapse of the public healthcare system in the province, which was described as collapsing.
Motsoaledi was shocked by some of the contents of the report, especially that related to the Holy Cross Hospital. Serious allegations of mismanagement, failure to follow guidelines and protocols leading to harm to patient care and serious dereliction of duty were levelled against the management of Holy Cross Hospital.
Motsoaledi immediately appointed and dispatched a task team to investigate.
Today he released the findings of the task team, which include:
» There was no basic equipment to use for patient care;
» The hospital had no blood-pressure machines and midwives had to contribute R17 each in order to buy one of these important machines;
» There were no foetal monitors;
» There were no baby warmers on the resuscitators;
» A lot of linen and towels were used to cover chairs in the wards;
» Nursing staff were not following maternal guidelines and protocols;
» Midwives often recorded important delivery information after the delivery had taken place;
» Staff had a bad attitude, did not treat patients well and management had no power over this; and
» The facility lacked leadership.
Said Motsoaledi: “I have to suspend the CEO and nursing-services manager with immediate effect pending a full investigation into their role in respect to dereliction of duty, mismanagement and harm to patient care.”
He said it would not end there.
“It is my intention that progressive disciplinary measures should be instituted against the hospital administrator. As both the CEO and nursing manager are nurses, it is my intention to report them to the SA Nursing Council for breach of professional ethics,” he said.
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