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News - Date: 08 April 2018
Written by: Mbulaheni Ridovhona / Viewed: 2017
When the MEC for Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, visited Malamulele Hospital last Wednesday, all she wanted was to bring about change, but now the problems have worsened and on Tuesday the doctors embarked on protest action.
Some of the medical staff said that they feared working at the hospital. They added that they were no longer trusted by the community after being wrongfully accused. The staff also complained about the lack of water, saying that this was the reason why certain sections, such as the dental department, could not operate.
The medical staff members are also complaining about the sudden dismissal of their colleagues, which included the CEO, the clinical manager and the nursing manager. “We are demanding proper working conditions,” they said and demanded that the MEC for Health apologise for the statement she had made on a radio programme that doctors at Malamulele Hospital were incompetent and were not worth working in a hospital.
According to one of the doctors, who did not want his name to be mentioned, the strike had nothing to do with the appointment of a new management, but rather with the relationship of trust between patients and doctors. He said that the MEC’s utterances in the media had affected their safety as doctors because they were assaulted by patients and their relatives, who claimed that they were incompetent and must not touch patients. “We are no longer safe here. One of our colleagues was beaten by the relatives of a patient,” he said.
Another complaint was about basic services not being available at the hospital. “There is no water, therefore we cannot perform X-rays on our patients. Our colleagues, who are sectional doctors, were told today that they must not come back,” a doctor said.
The Limpopo Department of Health’s spokesman, Thabiso Teffo, could not be reached for comment.
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Doctors downed tools at Malamulele Hospital.
The 22-year-old Mbulaheni (Gary) Ridovhona has been passionate about journalism to the extent that he would buy himself a copy of weekly Univen students' newsletter, Our Voice. After reading, he would write stories about his rural village, Mamvuka, and submit them to the very newsletter for publication. His deep-rooted love for words and writing saw him register for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Venda, and joined the Limpopo Mirror team in February 2016 as a journalism intern.