Acting CEOs in public hospitals erode service, says DA

1494 It was a normal day at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital today. Picture: Nigel Sibanda.

1494 It was a normal day at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital today. Picture: Nigel Sibanda.

Published May 9, 2023


Johannesburg - A worrying number of hospitals in the province don’t have permanent CEOs which is impacting the quality and level of service to patients, said the DA’s Gauteng health spokesperson Jack Bloom.

Bloom said nine hospitals in Gauteng continue to have acting CEOs, which impacts service delivery in most of these health facilities. In some cases, the CEOs were either suspended or the vacancy had not been filled for some time.

“Acting CEOs lack authority and are unlikely to take the initiative or root out vested interests. Nine out of 37 Gauteng public hospitals currently have an acting CEO, as the previous CEO has either left or been suspended,” Bloom said.

Among the hospitals without CEOs were South Rand Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital, and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

“Kopanong Hospital has been the longest without a permanent CEO since the contract of the previous CEO expired in February, last year. A permanent CEO has also not been appointed at South Rand Hospital, after the CEO’s contract expired in April, last year,” Bloom said.

He said it was crucial to have qualified and experienced people in these posts to ensure that government hospitals were well run, and that patients were afforded the correct medical treatment.

“The health ombud’s recent report into the Rahima Moosa Hospital was critical of poor processes in appointing hospital CEOs. It is essential that the best people are appointed speedily so that all the hospitals have competent and honest CEOs, instead of cadre deployments whose incompetence causes suffering to patients,” Bloom said.

The president of the Health and Allied Workers Indaba Trade Union (Haitu), Rich Sicina, said the union had also been challenging the provincial department for failing to employ permanent CEOs. He said having acting CEOs not only impacted the staff, but also led to the inability of some hospitals to employ nurses.

“It’s not a workable situation; they usually don’t take decisions; when they have to take a decision, they will tell you that they are still acting; when they are acting, they don’t challenge the political power. And most of the time, they remain in an acting position for a long time,” Sicina said.

Gauteng health department spokesperson Motaletale Modiba was expected to revert back to The Star with a response to questions about the filling of these crucial posts in public hospitals.

The Star