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The South African Human Rights Commission is greatly Concerned by the Suspension of Dr Tim de Maayer at Rahima Moosa Hospital

MEDIA STATEMENT

Friday, 10 June 2022

The South African Human Rights Commission is concerned that the Rahima Moosa Hospital has suspended Dr. Tim de Maayer for airing the concerns regarding conditions which appear to him to be threatening the lives of children at the hospital. The Commission recalls that it had to visit the same hospital in 2018 after a number of babies died.  At that time, the hospital complained of a variety of problems, including staff shortages and a lack of equipment and other necessities.

The Commission is concerned about the risks to the children admitted at the hospital that may result from the suspension of a doctor whose skills appears to be quite critical regarding the health of those children.

The hospital has its right to maintain discipline within the institutions. However, the Commission believes that the alleged transgression and the measures taken in this case should be weighed against the risk of the curtailment of access to health care for the children. It should also be borne in mind that the Constitution provides that a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. It appears from media reports that the offending conduct sought to highlight the interests of the child. The Commission wonders whether, from a number of options available to the hospital, the first response to the actions of Dr de Maayer should be the withdrawal, through the suspension, of critical health care services to the children, especially considering the nature of the conduct the hospital is concerned about.

Through its monitoring of public health care facilities in the country, the Commission knows that, in general, public hospitals are poorly resourced and that they are beset by a number of problems, including inadequate human resources and poor infrastructure. 

The MEC for Health in Gauteng is reported to have admitted that there are challenges within the health care system in the province and in the country in general. Unless we accept that there are short-comings in our health care system and adopt a concerted effort to eliminate them, they will keep recurring.

The Gauteng Provincial Office of the Commission will visit the Rahima Moosa Hospital on Monday morning, 13 June 2022, to explore and monitor the situation and engage with the hospital authorities. The Commission hopes that, in the meantime, the Commission wishes to encourage the hospital to reconsider the suspension.

 

Ends

Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Wisani Baloyi – Communications Officer Tel: 081 016 8308 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The South African Human Rights Commission.

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The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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