Call on victims of inadequate paediatric intensive care facilities to make representations to the Public Protector

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela calls on members of the public affected negatively by the inadequacy of intensive care facilities for children, if any, at five state hospitals in the Free State to make urgent representations to her office.

The Public Protector is conducting a systemic investigation into the state of paediatric intensive care facilities at Boitumelo Hospital in Kroonstad, Bongani Hospital in Welkom, Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, Mufumahadi Manapo Mopeli Hospital in Phuthaditjhaba and Dihlabeng Hospital in Bethlehem.

The investigation followed a complaint that paediatric intensive care facilities at some state hospitals were allegedly inadequate and that insufficient funds were being allocated to supply, upgrade and increase the number of beds in such facilities.

The complaint came after a national daily newspaper reported last July that “government doctors were ‘playing God’ daily, having to decide which critically ill children will get a chance to live” in a news article headlined “Doctors: we must choose who lives”.

The investigation is being carried out with the assistance SSG Professional Services.
Although it came about following a news article that singled out Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg, the investigation will focus on the five Free State hospitals –chosen on the basis of time constraints and cost implications- because the complaint was generic and aimed at all regional hospital supplying Level 1 care.

Members of the public making representations should have had direct or indirect dealings with the said five hospitals. Representations should be made in writing and submitted to the Public Protector South Africa, Private Bag 677, Pretoria, 0001 for the attention of Mr. Isaac Matlawe. All submissions should be in by Thursday, 28 February 2013.

The investigation aims to establish a thorough and complete audit of paediatric intensive care facilities and that of medical staff dedicated to such facilities at the five hospitals. It also aims to obtain comprehensive information on budget allocation and capital expenditure on such facilities and on the adequacy of training and qualifications of senior and middle management personnel.

It is hoped that at the end of the investigation, an implementable plan to assist hospitals address systemic problems will be developed. Individual hospitals will be supplied with a framework of reference for future use to prevent a recurrence of systemic problems.

For more information, contact:

Kgalalelo Masibi
Public Protector South Africa
012 366 7006
079 507 0399

Published Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 2013