FOUR KwaZulu-Natal hospital managers, "redeployed" last week after failing to run their facilities effectively, are crying foul.
They have accused the provincial department of health of informing the media of the decision before telling them.
"We have not received formal notification from our bosses," said one of the managers.
"We would rather not comment on the issue because nothing has been communicated to us. We have not been properly informed about the decision but only heard it through the media," he said.
The affected managers are Mbongiseni Dingiswayo of King Edward VIII, Njabulo Gwala of Prince Mshiyeni, Thamela Ngcobo of Mahatma Gandhi and Gill Hurst of Addington hospitals.
The department refuted the claim yesterday, saying that all concerned managers had been informed about the decision.
"We were in consultation with them last week. The decision was communicated before the department went public. Though we have not finalised where they would be redeployed to, we have given them options. The process will be finalised next week," Chris Maxon, the department's spokesperson, said.
The four managers' redeployment comes after numerous complaints were lodged by patients about poor service at the hospitals. The most recent incident was the discovery of a decomposed body of a woman at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.
Maxon said there was nothing malicious about these redeployments.
"The decision was taken after consultation with all relevant stakeholders. It is in line with the national department's 10-point plan, which includes overhauling the healthcare system and improving its management," he said.
In November last year Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi met hospital managers to discuss the country's ailing public health system. At the two-day event the minister warned managers to shape up or they would be removed. - Zinhle Mapumulo and Mhlaba Memela