Health Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Health Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Pressure mounts on Makhura to appoint CEOs at provincial hospitals

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Johannesburg - Pressure is mounting on the Gauteng government to fill key executive positions at major hospitals in the province.

While the provincial government has in the past faced internal pressure – now the Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize has added more fuel to the fire.

Mkhize this week instructed all provincial MECs and their departments including Gauteng, to fill the funded posts urgently.

The outbreak of fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg last week, has renewed increased calls for the provincial government to find a permanent chief executive for Tembisa Hospital and to allow Charlotte Maxeke’s chief executive Gladys Bogoshi to return to her post.

Bogoshi had been carrying out dual chief executive duties at Charlotte Maxeke and Tembisa Hospital in February this year since the suspension of Dr Lekopane Mogaladi.

Mogaladi was suspended following the death of Shonisani Lethole in July last year after being admitted with Covid-19-related breathing complications.

In February, the Health Ombudsman revealed Lethole hadn’t eaten for more than four days before his death. The ombudsman also found that the hospital management failed to perform their job. Bogoshi was appointed to act in February.

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi confirmed the appointment in her written reply to questions from the DA’s spokesperson on health Jack Bloom last month.

In her reply, Mokgethi admitted that Bogoshi was seconded to Tembisa Hospital while the District manager of Tshwane EMS SA Sithole was holding an acting position as principal of Lebone College of Emergency Care.

Sithole has been acting since June last year while Bogoshi began in February – MEC Mokgethi told Bloom.

“Both officials have the ability to manage both posts, there is no effect on performance, they possess both management and technical aptitude and the capability to carry out both functions adequately,” Mokgethi said.

She, however, said that there was no remuneration for Bogoshi as her salary was higher than the position in which she is acting.

Mokgethi was also adamant that there were no irregularities in the appointment saying “regular communication with health facilities to emphasise human resource legislative frameworks and the importance of adherence thereto, as well as reliance on audit processes by inter alia the Auditor General and the Gauteng Audit Services to identify any deviation from prescripts.”

The Gauteng government has yet to receive a report on the fire at Charlotte Maxeke.

Bloom, however, said he did not share the MEC’s confidence that anyone could successfully run to two large hospitals saying both Charlotte Maxeke and Tembisa Hospital “need a full-time chief executives who can concentrate on fixing deep rooted problems at both hospitals.”

Last month, Mokgethi also told the Gauteng provincial legislature that 10 out of 36 hospitals in Gauteng have acting chief executives. Tembisa was among listed and others included Bertha Gxowa Hospital; Edenvale Hospital; Far East Rand Hospital; Jubilee Hospital; Lenasia District Hospital; Heidelberg Hospital; Tshwane District Hospital; Bheki Mlangeni Hospital and George Mukhari Academic Hospital.

While calls for appointment of permanent chief executives seem to gain momentum – Minister Mkhize, however, told Parliament that there 13% vacant posts in the public hospitals across the country as of February.

He said Free State has the highest vacancy rate at public hospitals at 21%, followed by Western Cape at 15% and KwaZulu-Natal and North West at 14% each.

The vacancy rate in the Eastern Cape stood at 13%, Mpumalanga at 12% and Limpopo at 7%.

He also said there were 64 acting chief executives in public hospitals.

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Political Bureau

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