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Nursing unions: State hospitals like rudderless ships, with acting CEOS

The shortage of appropriately skilled medical leadership at Gauteng hospitals is frustrating nursing trade unions, reports the Sunday Independent.

Apparently, despite the province reeling under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, at least seven state institutions are being led by acting CEOs and other high-ranking officials.

However, Gauteng Health head of communications Motalatale Modiba says the department has prioritised the filling of vacant posts.

“Three were recently advertised and closed in July. One is currently vacant and another is in the process of being advertised. The other two posts are not vacant, however, they are occupied by acting appointees due to employer-employee related issues that are still being processed,” said Modiba.

Democratic Nursing Union of South Africa (Denosa) provincial acting secretary Bongani Mazibuko said acting CEOs are reluctant to make decisions and afraid to make appointments, so it hampers service delivery and poor response to COVID-19 in certain cases. He added that some CEOs had taken leave the height of the third wave, one being Dr Relebohile Ncha of Helen Joseph Hospital, who has been on annual leave for about three weeks.

“If the accounting head of an institution takes leave at the height of the pandemic, who will steer the institution?”

Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) general secretary Rich Sicina said they believed this was being done internationally to bring down the public health system and benefit those in government.

“We believe this thing is done intentionally. It's a cartel. Who benefits from ensuring that the public health system is disorganised? If you have a disorganised public health system you will have a million-dollar business on the other side, which is private. Who benefits? The central office… Who is the central office? The government. Some of these MECs are planted, cadre deployees put there to maintain the status quo, to maintain the looting, the mediocre and substandard way of doing things.”

The Sunday Independent noted that there were not only acting CEOs: there are also acting clinical managers, nursing service managers, and even matrons.

 

Sunday Independent article – Quality of care suffers in leaderless hospitals (Restricted access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Under-fire Motsoaledi deploys 200 in nationwide intervention

 

Government green light to fill 5,300 health sector posts

 

Public Protector to inspect Gauteng hospitals

 

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