Calls for provincial hospital CEO’s head to roll

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GK CRONJE

16 August 2022

One resident stated that patients fear to visit the hospital, as many patients who visit allegedly succumb to unknown reasons.

Suzuki Ermelo (WEB) 22 September 2020.jp

On Monday, 15 August 2022, a group of distraught employees of the Ermelo Provincial Hospital, joined by community and union members, staged a demonstration at the gate of the hospital. The group called for the removal of the CEO, who allegedly runs the hospital into the ground with rampant mismanagement and staff shortages.

“There are no surgeon available, meaning that no operations can be performed. There has been no surgeon for the past three months, which is unacceptable. There is a serious lack of management structure withing the hospital. The pharmacy does not have a manager, and therefore cannot operate efficiently. There are so many vacancies available, but they remain unfilled. The mortuary is in a state of decay. Residents have an uphill battle to claim, or even find their beloved deceased. It’s a travesty,” one said.

The issue of the mortuary has long since been an issue, that seemingly goes unresolved, despite statements from authorities claiming otherwise. The absolutely grisly state of the hospital has on various occasions bore tales of shock and horror. One resident stated that patients fear to visit the hospital, as many patients who visit allegedly succumb to unknown reasons.

“If you go the Ermelo Provincial Hospital, you are called a ‘braai pakkie’ by the community members. The reason for this being that you are admitted, and soon after placed lifeless in the fridge, ready for cremation or the grave. We would rather visit clinics that the hospital, as it is a building of death and horror,” he stated with distraught seriousness.

Despite the serious concerns raised by the public and various experts, and the fact that the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill has yet to be passed through Parliament, the deputy director-general for the Department of Health, Nicholas Crisp, revealed that 44 positions would be advertised for the NHI Scheme in August. Government has approved this travesty at a cost of R30 million, and plans to allocate more resources to in 2023/24 to fund a staff of 120 people. This is nothing but a travesty, as the state of provincial hospitals are dire, and instead of government allocating funds to improve the situation, millions, if not billions, are blown on irrelevant projects, cadre employment and unfinished constructions. At the time of publication, the hospital management was unavailable for comment.