Statement by Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC:
I am appalled that members of the media were yesterday barred access to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
According to a report, they were invited to accompany the Public Service Commission on an inspection of the hospital, but the hospital’s CEO Sandile Mfenyane said he was following instructions from the Gauteng Health Department in barring them.
This is utterly disgraceful. We seem to be going backwards in access to hospitals to investigate service delivery problems.
I have previously been banned from Bara Hospital, and last year I was escorted off the premises of Helen Joseph Hospital by security guards because the department said I did not have permission to be there.
According to the Constitution, public representatives have the right to do unannounced inspections, and media also have rights that have now been denied by this hospital.
The Gauteng Health Department should respect the Constitution and allow reasonable access to hospitals to assess conditions.
They are undermining democracy and are no doubt fearful that poor treatment of patients will be exposed, like the photograph of two babies in a cardboard box that a newspaper published some years ago following a visit to Bara Hospital.