The South African Human Rights commission conducted a site inspection at the Mamelodi Hospital, as it continues with its investigation into public health system in the province.
This visit is sparked by the incident that took place two weeks ago of 76-year-old Ouma Martha Marais being restrained to a steel bench for 8 hours at the hospital
The video of her that went viral on social media prompted the human rights commission to visit the hospital even sooner to conduct an investigation as to what escalated the matter, that had Marais restrained to the steel benches.
The commission that was led by Buang Jones Gauteng’s provincial manager of the human rights commission was adamant in its investigation of how the hospital functions. The mamelodi hospital has had a reputation for neglecting patients and stuff with bad attitudes. Commission aimed to hear the side of the hospital.
The acting CEO Dr Awolola who is also the only Dr in the emergency unite expressed his frustrations of the hospital being under staffed and shortages of equipment. He expressed that “it is demoralising working in an overcrowded hospital with few to no working equipment’s.” the emergency unite has no ventilation system working, not enough beds and no private consulting room for trauma patients.
William Aphane, chairperson of Denosa also added that “patients and nurses relationship has been damaged here at the hospital, because there is nothing the nurses can do about the hospitals infrastructure, shortages of beds, seclusion rooms for privacy of the patients” the hospital has no seclusion rooms for patients, taking it back to why Ouma Marais was tied to steel benches. “psychatric patients should be constrained and treated in seclusion using necessary equipment and methods, but it is impossible with no seclusion rooms, hence we saw an escalated version of events in Marais case” said Dr Awolola.
The nurses and Dr’s feel demoralised with the working conditions they are forced to work under. Saying that since the incident happened no one from the MEC’s office different unions of the nurses has come to the hospital to interview the nurses and staff about the incident. Only management has been interviewed, giving a one sided story about the incident and using the nurses as scape goats. When Mr Jones asked why or what keeps the nurses going? Mr Aphane said; “as nurses we made a pledge to serve and to love all patients.”
The commission is still to investigate further into the HR department as to what they are doing with the shortages of nurses. Further investigation into the finance department and the managing of funds in the hospital, shortages of equipment’s. Adding that the commission will be in contact with the MEC in regard of the physical infrastructure of the hospital not meeting the growing demands of the population in Mamelodi and Pretoria east. Stressing that there is a serious issue of shortages of critical staff shortages because it has far reaching consequences, translating in bad staff attitudes, health care workers being overburdened and low stuff moral. Compromising the state of healthcare in Gauteng.