An assessment of health and safety management in selected rural hospitals
Scott, Gordon Livingstone Stanley
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Health and safety is of the utmost importance for any company or institution to be successful. There is quite a negative perception regarding the health and safety of rural hospitals and clinics. Rural hospitals are most of the time overcrowded due the large amount of patients that has no medical aid, thus increases the risk for health and safety issues. Patients sit in long queues for hours to receive medical attention and their medication and are therefore exposed to all kinds of diseases, which is a high risk for these patients health. The employees working in these rural areas are also exposed to life-threatening diseases on a daily basis and have a good chance of being infected. Employees leave the public sector because of these unsafe working conditions and find themselves either working in the private sector or may even immigrate to foreign countries for better and safer working conditions. During this research done, there were a few shortcomings identified for the management to improvement on and to ensure a safe working environment. There are quite a lot of negativities surrounding the patients and employees in these rural hospitals, because patients get raped by nurses, babies get stolen from maternity wards, doctors are attacked by patients and much more horrific incidents happening in these hospitals. Cultural differences are also a main concern for management, because there are a lot of different races working together in the same department and not everyone has the same beliefs and ways in doing tasks. These cultural differences may lead to clashes amongst employees and result in a negative working environment. This quantitative research was done in selected rural hospitals, due to cost and time consumption. Only 80 employees (doctors, nurses and pharmacists) participated in the research done and the research was not an in-depth research, but enough evidence was compiled to make the necessary assumptions that all is not well in the public sector. With the new National Health Insurance (NHI) to be implemented from 2012, there may a lot of changes in the rural hospitals for the better. Hospitals all over the country are being upgraded and the working conditions are being attended to by the government which may attract more health professional to rural hospitals and clinics.