By Informative Staff Reporter, Oct 03
MASERU – In response to a story that appeared in last week’s issue of the Informative under the title ‘Health time-bomb at Tšepong’ management at Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (Tšepong) have (sic) refuted the allegations.
The Informative story said the workers had resorted to industrial action after management had offered salary increment to some workers leaving others out. On the other hand the paper reported that the ownership battle between the Government of Lesotho and Netcare Group of Hospitals (South Africa) over Tšepong was far from being resolved.
The hospital’s Managing Director Zondy Mohapi have (sic) responded to the said allegation and we hereby offer Tšepong management the right to respond to the allegations being levelled by employees who got engaged in the so-called ‘go slow’ industrial action.
“We acknowledge that some staff members participated in a go-slow action, however on the dates specified, the patients were able to access clinical services within normal waiting times. Tšepong attends to over 1,000 patients a day, with about 400 of them attended to in the hospital outpatient department alone. Due to these numbers, the average waiting time can range depending on how busy the facilities are,” writes Mohapi.
“Services in Hospital Outpatient Department (OPD) are provided from 0700 to 1600hrs per day, Gateway from 0700-1800hrs per day and the Accidents and Emergency Department operates 24 hours a day. Medication is dispensed 24 hours a day and therefore there is no reason for a patient to be asked to return to get medication the next day. Patient mortality linked to the go-slow is an unfounded allegation,” she further says.
“It is also inaccurate to say there was a salary increase to pharmacy staff which excluded nursing staff because the nursing staff also received an increase. It is important to note that any industrial action by health service providers (nurses included) is illegal as nursing and any clinical services are essential service providing much needed health care services to our people.
“The management of Tšepong is not aware of any forms that staff have been asked to complete to confirm their continuation of strike action. Five new receptionists have been engaged on a temporary basis to undertake reception duties to those in need,” Mohapi explains.
“Tšepong operates fully within its contractual obligations and there are several mechanisms in which this compliance is monitored. Cancer and Chronic Renal Failure are some of the excluded services and therefore Tšepong has no mandate to provide such services to patients.”