South Africa 27.8.2018 10:22 am

Unions march amid claims of crippling corruption at Baragwanath

The entrance to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 7 June 2015, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Picture: Alaister Russell

The entrance to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 7 June 2015, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Picture: Alaister Russell

Nursing union Denosa has threatened to withdraw from the hospital amid allegations of corruption implicating acting CEO Sifiso Maseko.

Labour unions representing the health sector are marching against what they have described as rampant corruption at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, eNCA has reported.

The unions, including Nehawu, Hospersa, Denosa and PSA, say that while the health department has investigated the alleged corruption they have not allowed them access to the resultant report.

Denosa, a union representing nurses, has threatened to withdraw from the hospital if their demands are not met.

Representing the union, Yandisa Zungula told the news channel that, among their claims about the alleged corruption at the hospital are “discrepancies in the employment processes, interference of the acting CEO in those processes” and “people who have paid for their jobs”.

He added that the union wanted the hospital’s acting CEO, Sifiso Maseko, to step down.

The EFF protested at the hospital earlier this year over what they saw as a lack of quality healthcare and the high infant mortality rate.

DA member of the provincial legislature in Gauteng Jack Bloom echoed Zungula’s concerns earlier in August, saying “the hospital hasn’t had a permanent CEO since January two years ago, yet it has a budget of R3 billion and over 6 000 staff”.

READ MORE: R1bn malpractice cloud hanging over Gauteng health dept

“I keep asking the MEC when they will appoint a CEO, and they keep making promises. It’s been two years and in that time a lot of patients have been damaged.”

Despite the hospital’s massive budget, it is also apparently lacking a registered chartered accountant in its CFO position.

According to Bloom, as a teaching hospital that is relatively well resourced, Baragwanath registers abnormally high numbers of patients being harmed.

“In the first six months of this year, they have already registered 986 [SAEs], which indicates that we are likely to see more than 2 000 by the end of the year,” he said. “Something is drastically wrong there. You can’t tell me their resources are that much worse than Charlotte Maxeke, which fared so much better.”

The latter hospital registered only 1 262 SAEs, making it the best-performing teaching hospital in the province.

It was reported that a shocking 20 000 patients were harmed in Gauteng’s hospitals in the past two years, with Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital by far the greatest source, with 4 320 cases reported.

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