The SA Medical Association (Sama) said it is outraged by a video that went viral, showing heavily pregnant women at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital sleeping on the floor.
The video went viral over the weekend and has sparked debate on whether foreign nationals were to blame for the overburdened public health system.
The Star understands that at least 16 000 children are born at that hospital every year.
There were also concerns that the hospital’s chief executive Nozuko Mkabayi had been working from home for some time, leaving the hospital in a state of vulnerability.
Sama chairperson Mvuyizi Mzukwa called for accountability and condemned the management of the hospital for the ill treatment of pregnant mothers.
"There is no justifiable reason for those women to sleep on the floor. We need to find out if the institution is giving the right information to the province so that the province will beef up resources.
“Patients must not be involved in the poor management decisions that management is taking," Mzukwa said.
City of Joburg Health MMC Ashley Sauls had blamed the overcrowding at Rahima Moosa and other public hospitals on illegal foreign nationals.
The politicians alleged that the South African public health system was struggling to serve South Africans because it had an additional burden of catering for foreign nationals.
Some of them had been accused of coming to South Africa just to give birth while some were refugees of war and political instability.
Mzukwa said he did not agree with these views.
"We would not agree with the MMC. We understand that if there is demand in the health system we should improve our infrastructure and human resources as well. Those are able to support the incoming demand. Us as clinicians do not even ask where you come from. All we do is provide a service. We are not Home Affairs officials," Mzukwa said.
Meanwhile, the National Freedom Party has called on politicians and President Cyril Ramaphosa to start using public hospitals so they could understand the pressures on the public health care system.
The Star spoke to some doctors in the public health system who said there were true issues such as an influx of foreign nationals to South African hospitals.
The Star understands that the issue had been raised with the national Department of Health.
Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi visited the hospital yesterday.
In a statement, the provincial health department said it was doing its best to deal with the increasing patient load.
The department said it was not part of government policy to reject patients even when they are considered illegal foreigners.
Mokgethi’s spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the hospital had steadily increased intake from 10 000 deliveries to 16 000 deliveries per annum, which is the second highest in the country.
"Rahima Moosa has repurposed 22 beds to accommodate more antenatal patients in the past 2 years, making a total of 56 antenatal beds which is still insufficient. We treat patients from Gauteng and outside our catchment area, including patients from the rest of the African continent," Kekana said.
Meanwhile, Mkabayi, speaking on Clement Manyathela’s show on Radio 702 yesterday, said Sauls misrepresented himself when he visited the hospital.
“The MMC also violated the rights of patients by taking a video of them, some in compromising positions. What the MMC did is illegal,” she said, adding that the hospital’s management was investigating the matter.