Patient treatment at Komani Hospital borders on criminal

BY Terri Stander MP, DA Eastern Cape Enoch Mgijima Constituency Leader

The suffering of patients due to maladministration and corruption at the Komani Psychiatric Hospital in Queenstown can no longer be ignored.

On Thursday 12 July 2018, during an unannounced inspection of the hospital, I was shocked to find the hospital in disrepair and the patients cold and unattended to.

I spoke to staff members and five patients in wards 13, 5 and 6 who confirmed they have been without hot water since the beginning of the year. Allegedly, a tender was awarded for the maintenance of the on-site boiler. Payment was apparently made to the company tasked with the maintenance of the boiler, but it still does not supply hot water to the hospital.

The hospital laundry is also serviced by tender, but patient clothing and staff uniforms come back dirty. The laundry was also burgled recently and new clothing stolen.

Other reports include:

• A shortage of nurses and medication. Assistant nurses are illegally dispensing medication and night nurses are not always on duty. A patient died from a seizure because of the medicine shortage in January/February;

• A shortage of cleaners is the cause of filthy wards and ablution facilities;

• Jobs are reserved for friends and family;

• Staff members are upset about working conditions. A man who worked for the hospital for 20 years hung himself in a nurses’ office four months ago after being suspended without pay. Two nurses were also dismissed for raising complaints; and

• Pine trees growing on hospital grounds are being cut into planks and sold. An amount of R40 000 has been raised through this, but has not been disclosed in the hospital financials.

These are serious allegations of corruption, maladministration and the illegal dispensing of medication. I will therefore be laying criminal charges against the hospital’s CEO Mavuso Malindi, as she is the ultimate accounting officer.

The 2019 general election is looming and the Democratic Alliance stands firm in its resolve to take over the government of the Eastern Cape and provide quality healthcare and wellness. The ANC has failed the people of this province, and the time for Change under a DA government is imminent.

 July 13, 2018
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