South Africa News

Suspension lifted for doctor who blew whistle on state of Rahima Moosa Hospital

A doctor who blew the whistle on the state of Gauteng healthcare facilities has been reinstated at the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in Johannesburg, after he was suspended for lifting the lid on the appalling conditions at the hospital.

Paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer was asked to return to work on Friday, following discussions by Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, and the hospital’s management.

He was suspended after he wrote an open letter to the Gauteng health department, stating that the “horrendous conditions in our public hospitals” contribute to children’s deaths.

In his letter, De Maayer described the situation at Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital, where problems such as load shedding, water shortages, and an overburdening of the system are affecting the health and lives of young patients.

A petition opposing his suspension garnered thousands of signatures.

Kwarra Kekana, spokesperson for Mokgethi said the MEC met with the hospital’s CEO, Dr Nozuko Mkabayi, Head of Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the facility, Professor Ashraf Coovadia and Dr Tim De Maayer on Friday.

“The MEC convened the meeting with all parties to engage on the matter regarding the precautionary suspension of Dr De Maayer. The MEC wishes to inform the public that the meeting was fruitful, and the matter has been resolved amicably.”

“Dr Tim De Maayer is back at work, the management team of RHMMC has agreed to work together to continue to address the issues raised in Dr De Maayer’s article,” Kekana said.

Mokgethi said the department remains committed to tackling challenges within the Gauteng Health system, while continuing to render services to millions of patients annually.

Earlier, the Democratic Alliance (DA) condemned the suspension of De Maayer.

The party’s Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom said it was appalling the paediatrician was “victimised for standing up for the children who die needlessly because of shortage of staff and equipment”.

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