Bara Hospital CEO leaving
The CEO of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johanna More, has unexpectedly given notice that she will leave her position next month. Her position was one of 90 hospitals CEO positions nationally that the Health Minister was looking to fill with suitably qualified people.
More’s pending departure as CEO of the struggling Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital follows an acrimonious meeting two months ago with members of the Gauteng portfolio committee on health. It is reported that at that meeting, some committee members strongly criticised More’s leadership skills and competency to run the hospital.
‘The Chairperson of the committee made statements which were problematic during that meeting – statements which suggested that the current CEO of the institution is not fit enough to manage such an institution. To an extent, there was a confrontation of some sort between the CEO and some members of the committee or a fall out’, says Tshepo Mokheranyana, the Gauteng secretary of NEHAWU, the National Education Health and Allied Workers’ Union.
Mokheranyana said shortly after that meeting, More took leave only to come back to announce that she was leaving. When she announced the reason for her departure, she said she was ‘retiring’.
‘After that happened our shop stewards were informed by the CEO that at the end of December, she will be going on retirement and won’t be coming back in 2013’.
When contacted for comment, More refused to answer questions, saying: ‘Write whatever NEHAWU tells you’ and she ultimately hung up the phone. Chairperson of the Gauteng portfolio committee on health, Molebatsi Bopape, also declined to comment and referred us to the office of the Health MEC, where we would also not get comment. All that spokesperson, Simon Zwane, could say was: ‘I have not been briefed on the matter’.
However, DA health spokesperson in Gauteng, Jack Bloom, confirmed that More is leaving her position as CEO of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and called on the provincial Health Department to urgently replace her with a suitable candidate.
‘The CEO will be leaving at the end of December, and I think this is long overdue. The Health Department must tell us what is happening. It is not healthy for a hospital to have uncertainty about top management. There needs to be a change in management and we need to know when her successor will be appointed’, said Bloom.
More’s position is one of 90 hospitals CEO posts country-wide that the national Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, advertised in May with the intention of appointing highly-qualified people with a medical background to head up the hospitals. Motsoaledi said, at the time, that he needs people who will turn around the hospitals to ensure that they provide good quality health care. But to date, these positions still remain unfilled.
The DA’s Jack Bloom says More, a nurse by training, was not qualified for the job as CEO of Chris Hani Bara.
‘When the adverts went out in May, it specifically said that they have to have a doctor’s qualification, and Miss Johanna More does not have that qualification. So, in fact, she was never going to be re-appointed for that very reason. I think they have taken far too long to make a new appointment’.
Bloom says More’s leadership of the hospital was poor and the pressure was mounting that she be removed.
‘There were increasing signs of dissatisfaction of Miss More’s leadership of that hospital. Doctors went over her head early this year because of problems in the maternity unit. Now, for me, that was a vote of no confidence by doctors in the Chief Executive Officer of that hospital. You shouldn’t have to appeal to the minister. You should be able to go to your manager. So, I think the problems have been building up for some time. The Gauteng Portfolio Committee on Health visited there earlier this year and was very critical. The pressures have been building up for her to be removed and replaced by someone who can do the job’.
More will be the fifth chief executive of Chris Hani Bara Hospital to leave in 10 years. The hospital has been marred by a number of bad events this year alone, ranging from broken equipment to constant electricity cuts, poor security for patients and staff and new-born baby deaths. Earlier in the year, the deaths of new-borns prompted the Health Minister to intervene.