Doctor action sets fearful tone

The suspension of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital superintendent, Dr Nokuzola Ntshona, has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among conscientious public officials, the Public Service Accountability Monitor said yesterday.

The suspension of Cecilia Makiwane Hospital superintendent, Dr Nokuzola Ntshona, has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation among conscientious public officials, the Public Service Accountability Monitor said yesterday.

"The PSAM is gravely concerned by the precedent set by the suspension of Dr Ntshona.

"This suspension creates an atmosphere of fear and intimidation which will prevent conscientious public officials from meeting their constitutional obligations," a PSAM statement said.

"These obligations required public servants to ensure that public healthcare resources were used efficiently to help realise people's right to adequate healthcare.

" Part of this responsibility involved reporting inadequacies in the performance of institutions and officials to authorities and to the public at large," the PSAM added.

Ntshona was suspended after writing to President Thabo Mbeki about conditions at the hospital including the deaths of babies in the maternity ward, which contradicted Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang's conclusion that there was no crisis at the hospital. - Sapa

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