Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. Simphiwe Mbokazi African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg-  Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, one of the largest in the world, has the lowest staff attendance of the seven largest hospitals in Gauteng.

Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Bandile Masuku made these damning revelations in his written replies to questions by Jack Bloom, the DA’s spokesperson on health in the province.

Masuku said last year alone the hospital recorded only 72% of staff attendance.

He said the Helen Joseph Hospital has the highest staff attendance at 93%, followed by the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg and Tembisa hospitals with 89% attendance rate.

The Kalafong Hospital’s attendance rate stood at 87%, followed by Steve Biko Hospital at 86% and George Mukhari at 83%.

According to Masuku, the low attendance rate was mainly due to “staff on sick leave including those who are on the PlLlR process and family responsibility leave”.

Masuku said the staff allocation register and daily attendance register are the sources they used to capture the daily data in the staff attendance database.

“The attendance is calculated daily by the database and was daily monitored by shift supervisors and managers.”

Masuku, however, said his department has since started the employee value proposition programme as well as implementing an occupational health employee wellness service at all hospitals.

The MEC also said that his department would improve resource allocation and the workplace environment by means of focusing more on human resources and labour relation practices.

In reaction, Bloom said Masuku was cautious about which category of staff has the lowest attendance, but according to unconfirmed data for the last two years, it appeared that nurses have the lowest attendance rate.

The Health Department regarded 90% attendance as acceptable, but six of the seven largest public hospitals in Gauteng did not meet this standard.

He also pointed out that low-attendance rates placed an immense strain on staff members at work, lowering their morale and the quality of patient care.

“There is a particular problem at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where staff attendance is shockingly low, which is probably due to poor management and low staff morale.

Political Bureau