Bloom Barred from Natalspruit Hospital

Natalspruit Hospital security bar Jack Bloom
April 7, 2015

Last week, on Thursday 2 April, I was barred by security guards from doing an inspection visit to the new Natalspruit Hospital in Vosloorus.Jack Blom DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Head of security Mr Vusi Mkhize appeared to be waiting for me as I had announced earlier in the week that I was going to visit the hospital.

Verbal Exchange

He stopped me and my colleague, Dr Neil Campbell MPL, at the car park, saying that he had to ask management permission for us to visit.

When we persisted we were stopped at the security gates and a man came out and told us very rudely that we could not enter.

He called Neil Campbell “a child” and waved his finger threateningly, telling us to “go to hell” after identifying himself as Dan Molefe.

Part of the verbal exchange is captured on a recording I made on my cellphone (available on request).

 

The exchange goes like this:

Mkhize – you must come with an appointment here

Campbell – No, you do not need an appointment

Mkhize – I won’t allow you to come in

Campbell – Get your finger out of my face

Molefe – I am saying you are not going to tell me what to do

Campbell – Get your finger out of my face

Mkhize – I will not allow you to come in … make arrest … You are not going to take my name …

Molefe – You take mine, Dan Molefe, take mine, I am the one to talk to you, I am saying to you, you go to hell

 

Visit to Natalspruit Hospital

It is utterly appalling that we were barred so aggressively from doing our jobs as elected representatives in checking up conditions at this hospital.

The reason I was visiting is because Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu had claimed at a sitting on Tuesday 31 March that the Electronic Document Management System was working well at the hospital, and that inpatients only faced a 13 minute wait, and outpatients a 45 minute wait.

I replied that this was not my observation when I visited the hospital in January this year, where I saw long queues and patients who said it was better at the old Natalspruit Hospital. I then said that I would visit the hospital to see for myself

Click here to view Hansard transcript.

Hide and Seek

What are they trying to hide at the hospital by barring my visit?

Last year in July I was escorted out of the Helen Joseph Hospital because the Health MEC’s office said that I did not have permission to be there.

In previous years I have been prevented from entering other hospitals, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital where my photograph was posted at the entrances.

The previous Speaker Lindiwe Maseko and the former Integrity Commissioner Jules Browde have endorsed my right to make unannounced visits to hospitals.

This latest incident reflects badly on Gauteng Premier David Makhura who says that he and his MECs will make unannounced visits, but allows his Health MEC to obstruct me in this matter.

I will be demanding answers about the poor behaviour of staff at the Natalspruit Hospital in barring us, and I will insist that every MPL has the right to make unannounced visits in terms of the Constitution so that we can see for ourselves what is happening in public institutions.

 

Media enquiries:

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

082 333 4222

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