Tower re­port shock

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS -

FIn the af­ter­math of Health Om­buds­man Male­ga­puru Mak­goba’s shock­ing re­port on Tower Hospi­tal in Fort Beaufort, Gro­cott’s Mail spoke to af­fected com­mu­ni­ties about their con­cerns. ort Beaufort com­mu­nity should not be ex­pected to Mana stated that Mak­goba’s mem­bers are filled with pro­duce ev­i­dence: it’s the Om­bud’s re­port had been the fi­nal hope dis­ap­point­ment, and one job to pro­duce ev­i­dence.” for the com­mu­nity, but that it Gra­ham­stown (Makhanda) A ma­jor con­cern was that “turned out not to be the hope med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner ex­pressed the whistle­blower had been we were hop­ing for”. their fear af­ter the Om­bud’s painted to ap­pear as if he had “When 1994 came, it didn’t at­tack on whistle­blower, Dr not acted in good faith. “He re­ally come for nor­mal peo­ple Ki­ran Suk­eri. still acted in good faith,” they only: it should be there for the

“It’s ap­palling that I am wor­ried said. “It’s an ap­palling out­come. pa­tients at Tower. The peo­ple about speak­ing to you It’s un­ac­cept­able.” who are vul­ner­a­ble, the peo­ple at [my place of work],” said In Fort Beaufort, com­mu­nity who are not able to do things the prac­ti­tioner to Gro­cott’s mem­bers share sim­i­lar con­cerns. on their own – they should be Mail. “I am afraid.” pro­tected by the Con­sti­tu­tion

The source de­scribed their Mthetheleli Mana, a for­mer of this coun­try. The peo­ple shock over the re­port, crit­i­cis­ing staff mem­ber of Tower Hospi­tal who are given the task to save the com­ments about the and ac­tive mem­ber of the these peo­ple must do their task whistle­blower and ques­tion­ing ANC, em­pha­sised that Mak­goba’s rather than be­ing pro­tected.” Mak­goba’s in­tegrity. “It’s not re­port was po­lit­i­cally An­other con­cerned com­mu­nity [Dr Suk­eri’s] com­pe­tence that mo­ti­vated. “His re­port was so mem­ber spoke un­der should be ques­tioned,” they dis­ap­point­ing to say the least, anonymity. said. “It’s the Om­bud’s. He’s but I will not say I don’t un­der­stand “The Om­bud is pro­tect­ing be­ing equally coy, com­plex why,” said Mana. “There the gov­ern­ment,” they said. [and] de­cep­tive.” are elec­tions com­ing.” “But ham­mer­ing the pa­tients

“The over­all is­sue has been “I’m not go­ing to say [Mak­goba] and the com­mu­nity as well. I’m lost. One, the whistle­blower is hid­ing any­thing, I’m un­der the im­pres­sion the Om­bud should be thanked, [and] two, say­ing he is sav­ing the present did not get enough time some­one needs to be held to gov­ern­ment.” to re­hearse his re­port. It looks ac­count.” The source crit­i­cised “There couldn’t be an­other naive or au­to­matic to say that Mak­goba’s state­ment that he Esidi­meni or an­other Tower,” there is noth­ing wrong with found no ev­i­dence of in­sti­tu­tional he said. “Be­cause it would tar­nish Tower Hospi­tal.” hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions the image of the ANC. As The source said they were at Tower Hospi­tal. “If he found a mem­ber of ANC it helps, but not sur­prised by Mak­goba’s re­port: no ev­i­dence, he should say so for the com­mu­nity, it’s a nega­tive “The gov­ern­ment can­not – full stop.” thing, and gov­ern­ment come out to the me­dia [ad­mit­ting]

They con­tin­ued to ques­tion needs to do some­thing to save its mis­takes.” why the whistle­blower the sit­u­a­tion.” The morn­ing Mak­goba re­leased had been slammed for fail­ing “The truth be­hind Tower is his re­port, 23 Au­gust, to pro­duce “sci­en­tific” that both the pa­tients and the East­ern Cape MEC for Health, ev­i­dence. “The whistle­blower em­ploy­ees are not happy.” He­len Sauls-au­gust is­sued a state­ment thank­ing the ef­forts of whistle­blow­ers, and wel­com­ing Mak­goba’s rec­om­men­da­tions.

The MEC’S sen­ti­ments to­wards the whistle­blower dif­fered greatly from Mak­goba’s, caus­ing spec­u­la­tion among com­mu­nity mem­bers.

“There is a horrible, vast space be­tween what the MEC and the Om­bud have said. When you are blow­ing a whis­tle you are mak­ing a noise, so how can you say it’s just a noise. The whistle­blower did that de­lib­er­ately to make a noise, and that noise is heard.”

The source con­cluded: “It’s so sad to re­port some­thing to the one you think is go­ing to solve the sit­u­a­tion, and your cry is not heard.

“It’s so sad to vote for some­one you trust; now the very same gov­ern­ment is say­ing there’s noth­ing wrong, whereas we know for a fact that un­der the skin, there are horrible, big mis­takes and abuse within Tower Hospi­tal.”

Gro­cott’s Mail will con­tinue to in­ves­ti­gate the East­ern Cape’s men­tal health care cri­sis, and will not be re­mov­ing or apol­o­gis­ing for pre­vi­ously pub­lished sto­ries or the col­lab­o­ra­tive doc­u­men­tary that ap­peared on ENCA’S Check­point.

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