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DENOSA Gauteng statement on the endless challenge of overcrowding at Kopanong Hospital which led to all workers withdrawing their labour in protest 

Media statement

Wednesday, 19 June 2019 

 

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa in Gauteng expresses its unhappiness over the continuing deteriorating healthcare services at Kopanong Hospital in the Sedibeng region as a result of overcrowding which has now forced all workers to withdraw their labour indefinitely in protest, before they are scapegoated when something goes wrong as it has been the case in Mamelodi Hospital. 

Management at the facility has been aware of the challenge of overcrowding for a long time, and nothing has been done to resolve this critical matter. 

Currently in the Casualty Unit, there are 13 male psychiatric patients admitted and without beds and two female psychiatric patients that are admitted but are without beds because the hospital is designed to admit only 6 patients in Casualty. The Psychiatric Unit at the hospital has got 30 beds which are full of patients.  

Most concerning in this is the deteriorating standard of healthcare that is rendered at the facility. For example, the X-Ray Department at the hospital had been closed since 8 May this year due to possibilities of radiation leaks. All X-Ray stuff members are on a special leave of two months as they are suspected to have been exposed to high radiation levels. As a result, patients that need X-Ray have to be ferried to Sebokeng Hospital by EMS vehicles for diagnostic tests. Nurses are used as escorts, which further compromises patient care as the few nurses remaining behind have to deal with the overload.  

Furthermore, the X-Ray contract is rumoured to have ended in March 2019 and management has not renewed it, thus leaving the hospital in dire strait. 

All workers at the hospital do not want to see the loss of life at the facility before the situation is attended to by management. DENOSA calls on the management to deal with the matter urgently.   

DENOSA in Gauteng encourages its members not to expose themselves to working conditions that at the end of the day will result in them being litigated – they must not care for more than the number of patients that they can manage.    

DENOSA is calling on both the MEC of Health and community members to look into the matter so that the challenge of overcrowding, which affects communities severely, can be addressed speedily. DENOSA believes it is when communities take up the matter of overcrowding and shortage of stuff to authorities that such get resolved. 

End 

Issued by DENOSA in Gauteng 

For more information and comment, contact:

Sabatha Thekiso, DENOSA Sedibeng Regional Chairperson

Mobile: 071 678 7001