Jantji Ngwenyama
4 minute read
20 Mar 2018
1:10 pm

Residents speak out on problems plaguing Tembisa Hospital

Jantji Ngwenyama

Tembisa residents are tired of inhumane treatment and deplorable conditions at Tembisa Hospital.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Supplied.

The Tembisa community, in association with Tembisa Hospital employees and The SA Justice Forum, handed over a memorandum of grievances to the hospital’s management on February 28, Tembisan reports.

The SA Justice Forum’s secretary, Thembisile Tanjekwayo, who spoke on behalf of the disgruntled community, said that after a number of meetings on different occasions, Tembisa residents roped in The Justice Forum to assist in voicing their complaints about the running of the hospital.

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The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Cebile Ntuli.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Cebile Ntuli.

“The community has regularly approached us about the long waiting period and the inability to get their medication. We then tried to investigate as to what is happening at the hospital and met with the hospital’s employees who made us aware of their unhappiness. They said they were indeed slow in providing health services because of the ill-treatment they are subjected to within the hospital. The situation is bad. The patients are sleeping on the floor,” said Tanjekwayo.

She said the hospital’s employees requested that they are included to unite in the fight against corruption taking place at the hospital, because they are also not treated well by management.

“We went inside to see the conditions at the hospital for ourselves and thereafter we requested a meeting with the board.

“They never answered our first request but we were referred to management and we wrote a second letter and still they never came back to us.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Supplied.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Supplied.

“We escalated the matter to the MEC of Health’s offices and proved that the hospital’s CEO is corrupt.”

She said they were never answered by any of the channels they exhausted, which is why they eventually decided to hand in a memorandum of grievances and community demands on the conduct of Tembisa Hospital’s management staff.

“We have given the hospital’s management seven working days to respond.

“We are requesting the health department not to ignore the situation lest it becomes worse, like the Esidimeni saga.

“The CEO and the nursing manager started doing these wrong things in 2015 at another East Rand hospital and the health department is turning a blind eye.”

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Cebile Ntuli.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Cebile Ntuli.

Listed among the serious allegations in the memorandum is that the community of Tembisa is not being employed at the hospital and there’s a board member who is selling jobs. According to the document, there is unfair labour practice occurring at the hospital and sexual harassment in the workplace.

The community demands the firing of the CEO and the nursing manager.

Tembisa Hospital’s CEO Dr Lekopane Mogaladi refuted allegations that he is corrupt and said the board member mentioned in the memorandum was not selling any jobs.

He said there haven’t been any jobs advertised since the board member in question has joined the hospital’s board.

When asked about the shortage of medical beds, Mogaladi said Tembisa Hospital was built as a small hospital and the population has grown tremendously, therefore, they do not have sufficient beds.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Supplied.

The unpleasant situation in Tembisa Hospital led to the community and employees taking action. Photo: Supplied.

He said the matter of medical beds is not a problem faced by Tembisa Hospital only but it is a national problem faced by other hospitals as well.

“We are overburdened, there is not enough space. Even if we can buy more beds we cannot squeeze them together.

“There is a permissible distance that is allowed between beds to avoid cross-infection,” said Mogaladi.

He said there is no one who sells jobs and the head nurse was appointed like anyone else, in a fair, transparent process.

Mogaladi said there are a few employees at the hospital who want to destabilise the internal processes by enlisting The SA Justice Forum services and added that every employee has a right to strike and that no one is going to be victimized.

The SA Justice Forum demands that vacancies should be advertised within the Tembisa community first and Tembisa residents should be given first priority.

Mogaladi said specialised jobs are open to anyone who is the best in the country and the low-level job applicants are shortlisted by a multiparty panel of interviewers.

At the time of The Tembisan going to print, The SA Justice Forum hasn’t received a response from the MEC, Dr Gwendoline Ramokgopa’s office and are planning further engagements with the Department of Health at a national level.

Tanjekwayo said SA Justice Forum demands thorough investigations into all job appointments in the hospital since the inception of Mogaladi’s tenure as CEO.

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