Limpopo Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba has removed the entire management team at Tshilidzini Hospital because of shocking mismanagement at the public healthcare facility.
The hospital, based in Vhembe, serves a large community, with many patients arriving every day and not all are helped because of bad management.
Problems at the hospital include dilapidated buildings, poor service and long queues and people waiting for hours only to be sent home without receiving the help they need. All of this is believed to be because of poor management.
When Ramathuba visited the hospital recently, she was met by several complaints from patients. Some told how they had been waiting for hours, but no one was willing to assist them.
Ramathuba said that she was worried about the negative reports the hospital has been receiving and that a turnaround strategy is needed to restore public confidence in the hospital.
“As I listened to certain categories of workers I am convinced that the hospital lacks a proper management system. The hospital is in dire need of leadership that will inspire workers to do more for the patients given limited resources. We need to find ways of including Tshilidzini in our revitalization programme,” said Ramathuba.
Though most patients complained about a shortage of nurses and doctors, the MEC said the hospital does not have any shortages when it comes to staff.
“There is no shortage of nurses nor doctors here, which surely shows us that the problems lie with the management. So we have taken the decision to remove them and introduce new management which will be put under administration for a period of 100 days,” said Ramathuba.
“The service here is very bad, I have been waiting for over four hours now to open a file. But no one is willing to help me. One can die here while waiting in the queue before a doctor or a nurse sees you,” said Samuel Masakona, an elderly patient.
When Tshilidzini was declared a National Health Insurance pilot hospital, it was identified as a facility that needed to be demolished and rebuilt. But nothing has been done and the hospital remains dilapidated and overcrowded, and security cameras not functioning.
Ramathuba said her department was now considering renovating the hospital as the national Department of Health was taking too long to implement the process of rebuilding.
“We believe that the incompetence of the management team has failed the surrounding communities,” she said.
Ramathuba is set to re-visit the hospital this week to implement a new turnaround strategy.