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Health Ombud says dignity of Rahima Moosa Hospital patients not respected


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Health Ombud says dignity of Rahima Moosa Hospital patients not respected

Health nurse
Photo by Bloomberg

14th March 2023

By: Sane Dhlamini
Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor and Researcher


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The Health Ombudsman, Professor Malekgapuru Makgoba, has said an investigation conducted at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital (RMMCH) highlights that the facility is filthy and unsafe.

Makgoba said the investigation took over a year following a complaint he received in 2022 from a member of the Health Portfolio Committee, which alleged that expectant mothers were sleeping on the floor.


Also revealed was that the hospital toilets and infrastructure were not safe for pregnant women.

“The dignity of the patient was not respected. If you have pregnant ladies in a place with toilets that are not functioning… it was not a dignified place for a pregnant mother,” said Makgoba.


Paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer from the hospital also made headlines for writing about the dire situation at the hospital which also led to loss of life.  

Between August to November 2022, 34 people were investigated.

Democratic Alliance Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom also shared allegations against the hospital’s CEO who was absent for much of their tenure. This was confirmed by the Ombud’s investigations.

The hospital’s human resources department, which was also deemed incompetent, was asked to provide information which revealed that the CEO had 21 days in 2021 and 27 days 2022 which could not be accounted for.


Infections were common in the hospital and an employee was also found to have contributed to infections, as she used her own “mixed medicine” which was not medically tested.  

In addition to the toilets, the air-conditioning system also did not work.

Further, the hospital had no laboratory, no intensive care units and no blood bank and had only one computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan. There was also a shortage of nurses.

The investigation revealed security challenges, such as a lack of equipment for security personnel to perform their duties.

Makgoba said that a study was done which revealed that 40% of the hospital’s patients are not South Africans.

One of the recommendations made included the hiring of a new CEO with the minimum criteria properly redefined.

Other findings were that there were several lapses in the appointment of CEOs in Gauteng province.

Makgoba said these positions were the highest levels in hospitals that required reports to Ministers.

He noted that the hospital should be prioritised for building infrastructure, and competent people in leadership should be appointed at all levels.

He added that the employee who contributed to an increase in infections should be subjected to disciplinary hearings.

Download the investigative report here


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