“The nine trainee doctors on Monday night slept at the casualty section of the hospital and had to wake up and go to work the next morning [Tuesday],” said Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) provincial organiser Sipho Qankase.
He said 13 student doctors were “forcefully removed” from flats the hospital had rented at Midrand Village after the lease expired at the end of September. The hospital residence was locked after the trainee doctors protested on Monday that it did not meeting the Health Professions Council of SA’s standards.
The residence was previously occupied by student nurses. Four of the 13 trainee doctors found alternative accommodation, Qankase said.
“Our concern is that if an issue as mundane as managing the relocation of workers can be botched and become a source of unhappiness to employees at the institution, the rendering of quality healthcare to the community may prove to be too much of a responsibility for the current CEO,” he said. Denosa accused hospital CEO Daisy Pekane of not consulting the students about their relocation.
“Last week, student nurses were given short notice to vacate their residence by the hospital management and to move to another block of flats to make way for doctors who were to be relocated,” Qankase said.
The student nurses’ pleas for management to give them time to relocate after finishing their year-end examinations fell on deaf ears. Qankase said the student nurses were “forcefully relocated” last week by law enforcement agencies.
“Denosa would like to call for an urgent intervention on the situation at the hospital as matters are just going from bad to worse,” he said. The hospital referred media enquiries to the provincial health department.
Gauteng health department spokesman Simon Zwane said it was waiting for an updated report on the accommodation situation at the hospital. “According to a report we have received, there have been engagements with the trainee doctors for them to return to the hospital’s premises after renovations were completed.
“A lease agreement where the intern doctors had been living had also expired,” Zwane said. Qankase said health workers’ frustration as a result management’s unilateral decision would seriously affect the confidence of health workers and their output.