Maputo — Chimoio (Mozambique), 19 Nov (AIM) - The Health Directorate in the central Mozambican province of Manica has taken disciplinary measures against staff and trainees who were caught playing around with social media on their cell phones instead of caring for patients.
Last Tuesday, the Manica Provincial Governor, Manuel Rodrigues, visited the hospital in the provincial capital, Chimoio, and he came across two nurses and three trainees taking photos and laughing as they played with their phones.
Patients were waiting to be seen, and the governor, irritated by what he had witnessed, demanded immediate disciplinary measures.
On Saturday, the Manica Provincial Health Director, Firmino Jaqueta, told reporters that the three trainees, who are students at the Manica Health Training Institute, have been expelled from the hospital. Furthermore, the hospital management drew up a circular to ensure that should never be admitted to another health training institution, "because we saw that they do not have the vocation to study medicine".
As for the nurses, disciplinary proceedings have been opened against them, Jaqueta said, and they will have the opportunity to defend themselves. "This is a situation which harms the reputation of the health sector", he added. "We will be implacable against acts which endanger the image of the institution".
He recalled that in this year alone disciplinary measures have been taken against more than 30 health workers throughout Manica province. They were charged with a variety of offences including theft of medicines, demanding money illicitly from patients, unauthorised absence from work, drunkenness and poor patient care.
Some of these workers had been sacked, while others were demoted, fined or given a public warning. Jaqueta did not say how many of the workers had received each type of sanction.