Martha Marais tied to the benches of the waiting area at Mamelodi Day Hospital. Picture: Supplied

Port Elizabeth - The Public Servants Association (PSA), has warned that the alleged mistreatment of a 76-year-old patient at Mamelodi Hospital, which resulted in four Hospital employees being placed on special leave, is not an isolated incident. 

The union said that the incident, in which the four were implicated in tying the patient to a bench in the hospital, instead shows that the health system is on the verge of collapse. 

While the PSA has welcomed swift action to get to the root of the incident, it warned that politicians, who were publicly spearheading the investigation, should be held equally accountable because over many years they have not addressed the dire situation in countless poorly equipped health institutions.

The PSA said that conditions at many health institutions were beyond the control of staff who must still render critical services to the public. 

It was concerned about staff capacity, disease control measures, infrastructure in the form of beds and linen, food services, medication, non-functioning theatres, a shortage of ambulances and other equipment, as well as inadequate security. 

Fires erupted at hospitals in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal recently. The pressure placed on employees under such conditions is nothing short of unbearable, the PSA said.    

The PSA said that once again, fraud and corruption had resulted in a human tragedy, and that funding intended for these purposes clearly had not reached its targets. 

The union also said it was disappointment with the Human Rights Commission’s narrow approach to this case, adding that the commission seemed oblivious to the plight of all those, including employees, who are exposed every day to inhumane conditions. 

African News Agency (ANA)