A nursing agency that has stopped providing nurses to the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital in west Johannesburg is owed R6 173 045, putting extreme strain on the hospital as it tries to cope with fewer nurses.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Ramokgopa, three nursing agencies were being used by the hospital at the beginning of this year, but they stopped services in September because they had not been paid.
Two of the agencies were paid in full on 31 October, but The Nursing Services of SA agency was paid R4.9 million on this date, and is still owed R6 173 045.
Ramokgopa says that “amounts are loaded for payment but due to cash allocation constraints such are outstanding. Discussions are underway at the level of the Executive Council Subcommittee on Health Finances.”
The withdrawal of agency nurses has led to staff burnout at the hospital. Two wards have been closed and three operating theaters have been cut down to one.
This is a sad effect of the Department’s ongoing financial crisis which increases the risk of medical negligence for the 14 000 births at this hospital every year.
It is essential that extra money is found soon to pay the Department’s many debts, otherwise more companies will halt services with terrible consequences.