Bara Hospital has lowest staff attendance

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital has the lowest staff attendance of the seven largest hospitals in Gauteng, with only 72% recorded last year.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

Helen Joseph Hospital has the highest staff attendance at 93%, followed by the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg and Tembisa hospitals with 89% attendance rate.

Other hospitals had the following attendance rates last year:

  • Kalafong Hospital – 87%
  • Steve Biko Hospital – 86%
  • George Mukhari Hospital – 83%

According to Masuku, the low attendance rate is mainly due to “staff who take or are on sick leave including those who are on the PILIR process and Family Responsibility leave”. PILIR is the Policy and Procedure on Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement to assist departments in managing Incapacity Leave and Ill-Health Retirement.

Masuku is cautious about which category of staff has the lowest attendance, but according to unconfirmed data for the last two years it appears that nurses have the lowest attendance rate.

The Department regards 90% attendance as acceptable, but 6 of the 7 largest public hospitals in Gauteng do not meet this standard which is worrying.

Low attendance rates put a lot of strain on the staff who remain, depressing their morale and the quality of patient care.

There is a particular problem at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where staff attendance is shockingly low, which is probably due to poor management and low staff morale.

Our hospitals are highly stressed environments, so staff need to be managed properly to assist them in their jobs but also disciplined when they are absent without good reason or abuse sick leave.