Twenty-four Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital employees have been disciplined for absenteeism that cost the hospital thousands of workdays last year alone.
According to the Gauteng health department, absenteeism affects service delivery at the hospital.
Department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the hospital lost 6,547 workdays last year alone. Ill health accounts for 0.82% of the reasons given for absenteeism, abscondment accounts for 4.52% and incapacity for 94.6%.
“Reasons for the high levels of absenteeism are general absence without prior arrangements with supervisors, abscondment from service – ultimately leading to dismissal – ill health and the impact of the HIV pandemic, and lifestyles.
“Substance and alcohol abuse, in addition to habitual truancy, are the observed patterns in the rates of absenteeism,” she said.
Kwara said hospital management implemented various measures to reduce the number of absentees.
These include weekly code of conduct training and awareness workshops for all staff categories:
– Regular orientation and training sessions conducted with staff on leave;
– Partnering with organised labour to spread the word on the public service code of conduct that includes how one should manage leave of absence in the workplace; and
– Circulation of internal memoranda to staff on leave and related matters, including discipline and leave without pay as a sanction leading to suspension without pay and ultimately dismissal.