Deputy Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka has conducted a walkabout at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) has said the findings of the Office of the Public Protector in its visits to 17 healthcare facilities in five provinces were not surprising.
“[The findings] confirm both what we have been complaining about all along on the issue of staff shortages and poor quality of personal protective equipment [PPE] for healthcare workers, among others,” the union said in a statement.
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This after a report compiled by the Public Protector’s office described severe difficulties facing the health sector, including that frontline workers who are fighting Covid-19 in severely affected provinces in the public health sector are some of the most exposed with PPE shortages leaving some nurses to wear torn equipment.
Deputy Public Protector advocate Kholeka Gcaleka shared details of the report in a briefing on Monday. This after her office embarked on blitz inspections at various public healthcare facilities across the country.
The inspection included hospitals in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo, covering 17 public hospitals, News24 earlier reported.
READ | Inside 17 public hospitals: Health workers forced to wear torn PPE, blitz inspections reveal
Denosa said the Public Protector’s findings also validated its calls for the need to employ nurses contracted for the Covid-19 pandemic into full-time employment.
“This will ensure that elective procedures are also taken care of timeously, post-Covid-19.
“Furthermore, the findings vindicate Denosa in its constant calls for the government to pay nurses risk remuneration, which fell on deaf ears. Due to the blatant refusal by the government pay risk, nurses have been sent to a death trap because many of them have died from contracting the virus in the workplace.”
Denosa said since the beginning of March, it had been vocal and called for solutions regarding the shortage of PPE, shortage of staff, shortage of medication due to poor planning, poor quality of PPE, broken machines that took forever to be repaired or replaced and the turn-around time of dirty linen in cleaning being “unacceptably long”.
“Therefore, what the Office of the Public Protector found in those visits is not something that was not expected, and neither is it something that was unknown by the government,” it added.
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