What you need to know about Martha Marais' compensation after Mamelodi Hospital abuse

Pensioner Martha Marais was tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital.
Pensioner Martha Marais was tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital.
Image: Supplied

The Gauteng department of health has compensated Martha Marais, the pensioner who was tied to a bench at Mamelodi Hospital while she was waiting to receive treatment in May last year.

The incident caused outrage after it was recorded and shared on social media, prompting the department to launch an investigation and put implicated employees, including a nurse and security guard, on special leave, SowetanLIVE reported.

The settlement agreement was reached through a mediation process with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). 

Here's what you need to know:

The department takes responsibility 

“I take full responsibility as the MEC on behalf of my staff members. I am not going to separate the department and the staff members involved, hence the apology,” said health department MEC Bandile Masuku at a press briefing on Sunday.

He added that during the investigation, the department looked into challenges and issues faced by its employees in an effort to root out abusive behaviour.

“We are not going to be punitive, because we understand the challenges that our health workers work within, but we have entered a process which we will share with the human rights commission and the family on the processes that we have taken in addressing all the issues of training, rehabilitation and general management of the hospital.”

The five-year plan

Masuku said the department was working on a five-year plan which aimed to ensure the quality of services and care received by patients. It included ensuring that health workers were provided with necessary equipment and the appointment of a new CEO at the Mamelodi hospital.

“It's an ongoing process, it's not going to be something with an end date, because it's part of our five-year plan in terms of our priorities to make sure that we improve patient experience. Part of that is making sure that our health workers work in a conducive environment, with necessary equipment.” 

Undisclosed settlement amount 

The department would not be drawn into disclosing the settlement amount, but said Marais was in “good spirits and doing better”. She now received her treatment from Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

Receiving help 

Family spokesperson Virginia Keppler told eNCA that counselling had helped in Marais' recovery. “She did receive counselling and she's doing much better, and what we're happy about is that she speaks less and less about the incident.”

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