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Lack of permanent CEOs at Gauteng provincial hospitals one reason for poor service delivery

The FF Plus has determined that a lack of permanent chief executive officers (CEOs) at provincial hospitals in Gauteng is one of the reasons behind poor service delivery.

At present, six provincial hospitals in Gauteng do not have permanent CEOs. These are: The Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital, Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, Kopanong Hospital, South Rand Hospital and the Tara Mouros Hospital.

This is evident from the written reply by Mrs Nomanto Nkomo-Ralehoko to a question in the Legislature. (See attached.)

The positions at the Kopanong and South Rand Hospitals have been vacant since 1 February 2022 and 1 April 2022, respectively.

An acting CEO was only appointed at Kopanong on 27 March 2023, and an appointment was made at South Rand on 1 March 2023.

Both these positions had only been advertised on 23 April 2023.

The blame for the reckless conduct of provincial hospitals’ managements must be laid at the door of the MEC and the Department of Health.

The situation will inevitably lead to poorer service and more legal claims. The Gauteng government has even gone so far as to implement a policy whereby patients who lodged claims continue to receive treatment rather than having damages paid out to them.

This policy recently suffered a blow with a judgment by the Bloemfontein Court of Appeal, which ruled that it is not a foregone conclusion that all cases of medical negligence can be handled in this way.

In this specific case, the court found that damages must be paid to the claimant because state hospitals are not able to provide the complex medical care that the claimant needs (see Mashinini v The Member of the Executive Council for Health and Social Development, Gauteng Provincial Government (335/2021) [2023] ZASCA 53 (18 April 2023)).

This judgement shows that provincial hospitals in Gauteng cannot function without expert leadership.

The FF Plus also finds it alarming that two CEOs, namely of the Tembisa Hospital and the Pretoria West Hospital, are currently suspended pending disciplinary hearings.

The FF Plus will follow up on the matter of inadequate leadership to ensure that provincial hospitals start functioning better.

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