COSATU statement on the appalling conditions of a maternity ward in Mamelodi Hospital

COSATU in Gauteng has noted with shock the terrible conditions of a maternity ward in Mamelodi Hospital. The hospital has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons in recent times. We thought that the Gauteng Department of Health had learned from the embarrassment of numerous unwelcome incidents in that hospital and somewhere else over the recent past.

We are all aware of the heavy burden experienced by our health facilities in the province, but this does not justify the conditions of our public health facilities. The way the MEC of Health, Dr Bandile Masuku, who has successfully and effectively led COVID 19 interventions with limited resources, responded to allegations about a hospital is totally unacceptable.

Dr Bandile Masuku’s dismissive response to a patient who was complaining about the deplorable conditions of the maternity ward at Mamelodi Hospital is embarrassing. He should apologise to the patient in question and the people of Gauteng.

We strongly condemn his impulsive response as distasteful and spineless. Blaming lowly officials is absurd and highly objectionable. It cannot be correct that the CEO of the hospital knew nothing about the conditions of the so called Marikana ward and only the matron is identified as a problem.

The Federation is aware of the massive work, pressure, and stress that goes with the work of public representatives as well pressure brought by COVID 19. But that does not justify the impulsive behavior of politicians deployed to the government on behalf of the people. COVID 19 is exposing the imploding public health in Gauteng and the country and leaders need to provide leadership and stop scapegoating workers.

Post lockdown, COSATU will request a meeting with the Premier and the MEC of Health to discuss amongst others, challenges in the public health system, possibility of convening a Provincial Public Health Indaba, and the safety of health professionals. To all public representatives in Gauteng, COSATU is behind you in your endeavor to curb the spread of COVID 19. We remain committed to holding the politicians to account when they fail the people.

Issued by COSATU

Provincial Secretary: Louisah Modikwe – 0742266879

Provincial Deputy Chairperson:  Thabang Sonyathi 0795015367