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01 March 2017


The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) is outraged by reports of mismanagement and corruption at Shongwe Hospital in KaMatsamo (formerly Schoemansdal), Mpumalanga.  Citing a recent uprising by patients at said hospital, the Union highlights Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) contraventions at the hospital, calling on the Department of Labour (DoL) to intervene.  Hospersa also identifies numerous cases of poor management and corruption and undertakes to take this up with the Department of Health (DoH).


According to reports patients stormed the administration area chanting revolutionary songs after they were left unattended due to an unplanned staff meeting this past Thursday.  The meeting was apparently called by the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ms ST Gumede.  During the protest many patients voiced their frustration and overall dissatisfaction with the lacking level of care they were being subjected to. 


“Hospersa sympathises with the patients in their plea for better service delivery and strongly condemns the summoning of doctors to unplanned meetings,” said Hospersa Provincial Secretary (Mpumalanga) Emmanuel Mokwena.  “Patients should not be made to bear the brunt of ill-timed meetings summoned as and when the acting CEO pleases,” Mokwena said.


It is reported that the acting CEO has in recent times made numerous misguided decisions, including various cases of maladministration, corruption and nepotism.  It is also reported that supply chain processes were disregarded in the appointment of a contractor for renovations after parts of the hospital were damaged by a storm in October 2016. 


“The inferior work done by the contractor has left the pharmacy department sharing office space with the dental department,” said Mokwena.  “This situation puts patients’ lives at risk as patients could receive harmful medication due to the inadequate drug storage facility that does not meet the standards set by the South African Pharmacy Council.  The contractor also failed to finish work on crucial areas such as the food service unit and the ceiling of the X-ray room,” he added.


Hospersa has also learned that there are gross violations of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) at the hospital.  According to reports the mortuary refrigerators and the backup cool rooms have not been functioning since 20 December 2016. 


“The hospital’s infrastructure is being left to deteriorate in front of our members eyes while corruption and maladministration continue to thrive at this hospital,” said Mokwena.  “Even the hospital’s dental department is subjected to work in a cramped building with inadequate space for dental services with no ablution facilities.  The Department of Labour needs to immediately take the acting CEO to task for these violations,” he added.


“We have also heard of nepotism that involves senior hospital officials and their family members getting higher positions at the hospital.  Hospersa is angered by these reports which suggest that Shongwe Hospital is being used as a haven for cronyism and corruption,” said Mokwena.  “We will call on the Department of Health to investigate these reports and call to book those found to be abusing their positions,” he added.


“Hospersa will continue to highlight all OHS issues affecting healthcare workers in the workplace and remain advocate for social justice on service delivery in the public health institutions.  We condemn any act of maladministration, corruption and nepotism in public health as this often leads to poor service delivery for those who need it most,” Mokwena concluded.



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For interviews please contact Hospersa Provincial Secretary Emmanuel Mokwena – 083-603-3247.


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