There is mixed progress by the Gauteng Health Department in implementing the recommendations of the Health Ombud’s report on Rahima Moosa hospital which was released on 14 March this year.
This is indicated in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
A key recommendation was that a new hospital CEO be appointed within three months. According to the MEC, the post was advertised with a closing date of 5 May, and a selection process is underway.
Another recommendation is that the hospital is prioritised for refurbishment within six months. The MEC says the hospital has been included in the priority hospital programme, and a schedule of maintenance works has been identified, with initial funds to start immediately.
A “Smart Fridge” was supposed to be installed within one month, and this has been done.
Although a 24-hour Laboratory and Blood Bank Services was supposed to be done within two months, the department says this requires “multiple stakeholder engagement and is still work in progress.”
A Discharge Lounge was supposed to be functioning within one month, and this has been done.
Disciplinary action has been taken against a nurse who used her own concoction for infection control, but the former CEO Dr Nozuko Mkabayi has not yet been disciplined for her failings.
The biggest disappointment is the failure to appoint an independent forensic and audit firm within two months – the Office of the Premier is still busy “with the process of appointing an independent forensic and audit firm.”
It’s good news that application has been made to convert the hospital into a tertiary institution, as this will allow access to National Tertiary Service Grants.
A draft Human Resources Plan has been developed which needs further work in relation to the reclassification of the hospital as a tertiary institution.
The key to further progress is whether a top notch CEO is chosen soon and is given the resources to fundamentally improve this hospital to provide a decent service to mothers and children.
I will continue to monitor the progress implementing the Health Ombud’s recommendations, and will hold the MEC to account for any backsliding.