Universitas Hospital is ‘not that bad’

Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson for the Free State Health Department.

“It’s not as bad as the media makes it out to be,” was Mondli Mvambi, spokesperson for the Free State Health Department’s response to the recent damning reports about Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein.
The reports were based on a report released earlier this year by the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC). The report stated that Universitas Hospital, which used to have a 90% compliance rate and was the best academic hospital in the country, now has a 62% compliance rate and is regarded as the lowest performing academic hospital in the country. Mvambi said reports on the Bloemfontein-based academic hospital are not all doom and gloom, as widely reported by “sensationalist media”. Mvambi further said: “The issue of the OHSC is an evolving mandate to the standards of cleanliness in the hospital, filling of posts, availability of medicine and all the non-negotiable of health standard services. Now, we always have to engage and sit down with them – they can’t come and do their own report without consulting us. So, in as far as I’m concerned, that matter cannot be conclusive.”
Further commenting on matters that were raised in the OHSC report, Mvambi added that the department is doing all it can to ensure that hospitals are compliant with the core standards, which include cleanliness and availability of medicine, among other matters. Responding to why so many specialists who hold key positions have left the hospital and what the department’s rescue plan is, Mvambi said: “The department cannot force its employees to stay if they are looking for greener pastures.” He further added that where a vacancy for a key specialist position arises, the department fills it with some of the most sought-after skills in the country and pointed to the hospital’s cardiology department as an example of this. Also referring to a comment made by National Health Minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, who, looking at the above stated report, said that “something horrible happened at Universitas”, Mvambi said the department appreciates the minister raising that concern as it is his right to do so. He further added that the department is doing all it can to ensure that it increases the hospital’s compliance standards. – Pulane Choane