DA welcomes Health Ombud report into 'filthy, unsafe' Rahima Moosa Hospital

16th March 2023 By: Sane Dhlamini - Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor and Researcher

DA welcomes Health Ombud report into 'filthy, unsafe' Rahima Moosa Hospital

Democratic Alliance Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom

Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom has welcomed the Health Ombud's report, which revealed that the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital is unsafe.

The Health Ombud was tasked to investigate the facility following public outcry, and allegations made by Bloom and Dr Tim de Maayer.

Among the allegations was that the former CEO Dr Nozuko Mkabayi had been absent for more than 100 days.

The report revealed that pregnant women were sleeping on the floor while the hospital had uncontrollable infections, which also resulted in deaths.

Speaking to Polity, Bloom said while the report outlined the hospital’s management failures, it also highlighted the issues facing the Guteng Health Department.

The report revealed that the standards for appointing CEOs in the province had declined, which Bloom said was because of the African National Congress’  (ANC’s) cadre deployment strategy.

“I am very pleased that [Health Ombud Professor Malegapuru Makgoba] has laid down that there needs to be a new CEO appointed in three months according to the highest standards. I would think that should apply to other hospitals as well,” said Bloom.

He is not hopeful that Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko will fully implement the recommendations as the Esidimeni recommendations have not been fully implemented.

He said the DA would do all it could to ensure that the recommendations were fully implemented.

“We want to see a decent CEO appointed, infrastructure improvements made at the hospital and the department, as a whole, fixed. That is a political question and I personally believe that it won’t change until there is a change in political control. There are too many people appointed at the Gauteng head office who shouldn’t be there as well. I don’t think they have the competency and they are protecting corruption,” alleged Bloom.

He believes that the “rot” in the province’s health system is far more extensive than that in the Rahima Moosa Hospital.

He shared with Polity that the state of oncology, which he said was a life-and-death situation, had been another huge issue, with over 500 female cancer patients waiting for breast cancer treatments and 1 000 male patients waiting for prostate cancer operations. 

He thanked the intervention of civil society for the recent announcement of a R784-million to help fast-track cancer-related treatments. 

Bloom hopes that the money is spent well and hopes that many people benefit from it.