The IFP calls for the urgent suspension of a doctor who is accused of beating up a mentally ill teenager at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

“It is shocking that more than a month after the doctor had beaten up the patient no action has been taken against this medical practitioner. By dragging its feet in pursuing this matter urgently makes us believe that the hospital management is trying to protect the accused. If they are serious about taking care of patients they should have finalised the disciplinary hearing and taken the necessary steps against the doctor. There should be no discussion in this matter, we want this medical practitioner to be suspended with immediate effect and if found guilty should be fired,” said IFP National Spokesperson on Health, Ms Sibongile Nkomo.

“We are aware that internal hospital disciplinary processes are continuing but we are not convinced that it is being treated with the urgency that it required if this medical practitioner is still working. Patient’s safety is at risk if no action has been taken against this doctor. Where are the principles of Batho Pele in this case? What if more patients fall the victims of being attacked by this medical practitioner,” continued Ms Nkomo.

“The attitude of some of the medical practitioners seems to be a big problem at many of our health care facilities. What I can’t understand is how are they supposed to care for patients if they don’t want patients to get close to them?. If people don’t want to do their jobs, they must be fired. Medical staff are supposed to take care of patients, not to abuse them,” concluded Ms Nkomo.

The IFP will not tolerate doctors and nurses who callously fail to treat or endanger patients under their care. South Africans in health facilities deserve quality care and their loved ones deserve to know that their caregivers act as professionals in the conduct of their duties.