Hospital management, union on collision course over suspensions

The suspension of three nurses from Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital in Vosloorus, east of Johannesburg has rubbed Health and Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (Haitu) the wrong way.

Haitu has called the Gauteng department of health out, accusing it of failing to provide basic items while patients suffer.

All this while the nurses are battling to adequately treat the patients without proper equipment. The nurses were given suspension notices for “failure to provide patient care”.

The union said it has seen a video on social media of a child who seems to have soiled himself and the mother alleging that the nurses failed to provide adequate care.

Earlier in the week, Haitu released a statement outlining the dire situation at the hospital.

“Shortages of colostomy bags and other essential items is very common at Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital due to drastic budget cuts by the health department,” said the union in a statement.

Shortage of colostomy bags

According to Haitu, the patient was supposed to be using a colostomy bag because he was unable to pass a stool in a regular manner.

However, there were no colostomy bags at the hospital and the nurses improvised by helping the patient using a diaper.

The statement reads further: “Healthcare workers are expected to deliver miracles and take care of patients without any basic items.

“This is another sad reminder of how budget cuts compromise good service. We reject the idea that workers must take the fall for an uncaring department, which takes no responsibility for the crisis it has created.”

Haitu general secretary Lerato Mthunzi told Sunday World on Thursday that the union condemns the department for using health workers as scapegoats, and for failing to conduct a proper investigation.

“The nurses have not yet been charged by the employer” said Mthunzi.

“Haitu has written a letter requesting a meeting with the CEO and his management team to ask them to withdraw the suspensions.”

Mthunzi said the union will resort to mobilising the workers at the hospital for a march if management fails to withdraw the suspensions.

“The march to the hospital will include progressive community groups.”

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