Gauteng hospital CEOs rebuked for safety failures during Covid-19 pandemic

Eight Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Gauteng health facilities have been given final warnings for not complying with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to Mokgethi, the CEOs failed inter alia to:

• Hold a daily meeting on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

• Conduct environmental risk assessments

• Hold weekly OHS meetings

The CEOs of the following health facilities were reprimanded in this matter:

• Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital

• Helen Joseph Hospital

• Rahima Moosa Hospital

• Tshwane District Hospital

• Wits Oral & Dental Hospital

• Medunsa Oral & Dental Hospital

• Medical Supplies Depot

•Forensic Pathology Services

I am concerned that CEOs of major hospitals neglected occupational health and safety during the Covid-19 epidemic. This increased the risk of staff contracting the virus.

Since January last year there were also three disciplinary cases against other hospital CEOs.

The CEO of the Far East Rand Hospital was dismissed because he claimed commuted overtime and was grossly insubordinate in suspending staff.

Meanwhile, the disciplinary case against Ms Ruth Mabyana has still not been concluded after she was suspended as CEO of the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in August last year for alleged misconduct concerning an incident where a psychiatric patient was sexually assaulted by another patient.

The last case is that of the Tembisa Hospital CEO who was suspended in January this year after the report of the Health Ombudsman on the death of Shonisani Lethole.

It is disappointing that so many CEOs have not measured up to what is expected of them when running a hospital.