New CEO for Bara following protests

New CEO for Bara following protests

Dr Richard Lebethe has this week been appointed as the new acting CEO of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital following protests at the facility by health unions who have been picketing outside since Monday.

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The demonstrations – mostly about grievances against former acting CEO Dr. Sifiso Maseko, who was removed and placed on suspension while he faces allegations of maladministration.

In a statement released by the Gauteng Department of Health on Thursday, it was made clear that Lebethe would take over his acting position with immediate effect

We are very happy with the outcome of our strike so far. Especially the removal of the previous acting CEO.

“This is to ensure there is a stability at the hospital. The process to appoint a permanent CEO is nearing its completion,” said department spokesman Lesemang Matuka.

Investigations underway

“The allegations made are being taken seriously and to this effect, the Department instituted an independent investigation to ensure the process is fair and transparent,” said the Head of the Gauteng Department of Health, Professor Mkhululi Lukhele.

The statement further said the department was committed to engaging with all stakeholders and resolving their concerns in an amicable manner and that a final court order had been invoked to halt the ongoing disruptions to essential services to patients and allow the investigating team space to conduct its work unhindered.

Another big union concerns was the overdue filling of critical posts. Department claimed to have made progress since January with regard to the filling of vacant positions, claiming that 505 posts at Chris Hani Academic Hospital had been filled 505 so far. These included 10 administration posts, 93 allied professionals, 297 medical positions, 93 nursing post and 12 support staff.

Strikers happy

“We are very happy with the outcome of our strike so far. Especially the removal of the previous acting CEO. What we need to do now is to allow further due processes to unfold so that those who are implicated will have their chance to state their side of the story,” said Vusi Mashinini, Labour Organiser at the hospital from Hospersa (The Health and other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa). Other unions could not be reached for comment.

Allegations levelled against the previous acting CEO include interference in the appointment process to ensure certain officials are appointed, selling of jobs to those close to him, his reluctance to investigate allegations and intimidation of other senior managers.