DENOSA has noted with great concern the report by City Press on 4 March 2018 about the dire situation in Tower Psychiatric Hospital.
The story reported about “degrading and inhumane treatment of patients” which implicates the senior management of the institution. The report tells how doctors are coerced to alter documents in order to give different results that will not reflect badly on the institution.
DENOSA is taking these allegations seriously – If the story by Dr Kiran Sukeri is true, it means that nurses in that hospital are exposed to a toxic environment. Nurses are on the frontline in patient care and by implication they are a vulnerable group.
If the situation at Tower Psychiatric Hospital goes out of hand, nurses, and not the management, will be the first targets by the department. We have experienced that when there is a patient care crisis, the department goes after nurses. Equally, the hospital management has a tendency of shifting blame to nurses because of the independent functioning of a nurse as prescribed by the regulatory body, the South African Nursing Council (SANC).
In all SANC cases referred for professional misconduct, there had never been a single nursing manager taking a stand; nurses always stand alone and face the music in front of the disciplinary committee with no support from the department whatsoever.
"The allegations raised are very serious and are of great concern," says DENOSA Eastern Cape Provincial Secretary, Khaya Sodidi.
DENOSA notes the response with reservations by the spokesperson of the department, Sizwe Khupelo that during the "surprise" vist by MEC of Health everything was rosy in Tower Hospital. DENOSA would like to stress that any "unannounced" visit by the department at the hospital after media reports was always going to get a different picture.
"We strongly support the proposed independent investigation to that institution. We believe that where there is smoke, there is fire. In the meantime, DENOSA congratulates Dr Kiran Sukeri for his bravery and courage in raising these devious actions by the management until proven otherwise."
Issued by the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) in Eastern Cape