Election politics ride roughshod over clinicians, patients

Chris Bateman


Strange things happen at election time. Patient care and doctor support can come a very poor second to tub-thumping and vote-collecting – that’s if the stories of two hospital CEOs with impeccable and impressive track records, highly respected among their rural peers, can be believed. Weird as it may seem, this year’s Rural Doctors of South Africa (RuDASA) Lifetime Achiever Award recipient Dr Victor Fredlund, age 60, CEO of Mseleni Hospital, spent nearly 4 months at home on officially enforced leave (until this July). Aspirant local political candidates and unions led a charge against his withdrawal of job offers from two cleaners and his firing of a third. Head office bureaucrats insisted that the removal of the veteran stalwart from the far northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) hospital was ‘for his own safety’, bickering, fudging and stalling way after any perceived threat to him had evaporated. Then, seemingly at a loss over how to justify his lengthy absence, they charged him in August – for doing exactly what they’d advised him to do.


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Chris Bateman, Health and Medical Publishing Group, South Africa

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Election; RuDASA; Victor Fredlund; Mseleni Hospital

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(10):956. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i10.11435

Article History

Date submitted: 2016-08-22
Date published: 2016-09-23

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