The government’s attempt to muzzle doctors is aimed at preventing the truth about conditions in state hospitals from coming out, the SA Medical Association (Sama) says and opposes the precautionary suspension of dr Tim de Maayer of Hospital’s Rahima Moosa Mother and Child.
De Maayer was suspended after criticizing the state of child health care at the Johannesburg hospital.
“The decision to dr Suspending De Maayer is shockingly inappropriate and threatens to jeopardize the legitimate expression of concerns about conditions in government facilities by physicians who have taken an oath to put the needs of their patients first,” the association said.
“Physicians have the right, and are obligated, to raise their concerns about the conditions.
“The department’s spontaneous response, Dr. Suspending De Maayer is an attempt to suppress the truth about the appalling conditions not only at Rahima Moosa but at other public hospitals as well.”
Sama also citing the case of a Limpopo doctor who was suspended by provincial authorities after allegations of misconduct. A task team found no basis for the allegations against him.
“Despite a Supreme Court ruling ordering his suspension to be lifted, he is being denied entry to the facility where he works,” said Sama, who is fighting to get him back to work.
“These two cases indicate a concerted campaign by health officials to muzzle critics and prevent them from revealing the truth about conditions in their hospitals reached the public.” Sama pressed charges.
“We would advise these departments to focus on resolving important issues raised by doctors. Spending energy on silencing voices that indicate bad conditions does nothing to improve those conditions.”
The Sama Trade Union (Samatu) added their voice to the line of the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital to lift the suspension of the pediatric gastroenterologist.
“Samatu is deeply concerned about the unnecessary suspension of Dr. De Maayer and regards this behavior by the Gauteng Department of Health as bullying. The victimization of Dr. De Maayer, for voicing his concern about the state of public health facilities and for standing up for patients’ constitutional right to health care, will further contribute to the deplorable working conditions doctors face. span>
“It is shocking that the Gauteng Department of Health chose to suspend a doctor rather than address long-standing infrastructure-related problems.”p>
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