The headline-making persecution of paediatrician Dr Tim de Maayer is part of a wider trend whereby principled public sector healthcare workers are often abandoned to the whims of managers who are vindictive, incompetent, or both. Add the slow movement on South Africa’s healthcare worker policy, the poor management of the Health Professions Council, and the short shrift given to healthcare workers’ concerns about National Health Insurance, and the picture that emerges makes a mockery of government’s talk of valuing healthcare workers.
The recent suspension of Professor Ebrahim Variava and the subsequent lifting of his suspension briefly placed the North West Department of Health in the national spotlight – a department that has been under administration for over two years. Marcus Low asks whether the latest developments are just a blip on the department’s road to recovery, or are they symptomatic of still deeply entrenched dysfunction.
The controversial suspension of one of the North West province’s senior clinicians two weeks ago, has been lifted with Professor Ebrahim Variava returning to his post as head of internal medicine at the Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital in North West.