A hospital CEO in northern KwaZulu-Natal – who earns an annual salary of more than R1.5m – has been pocketing R47,000 a month in overtime at a neighbouring obstetrics facility.
A Sunday Times report says that every month between August 1 2017 and April this year, Dr Bright Madlala took home R46,688.88 for working in the obstetrics unit of Queen Nandi Regional Hospital, just a few hundred metres down the road.
Madlala was appointed CEO of Ngwelezana Hospital in August 2017, and in the next nine months earned just shy of R420,200 in overtime alone.
The report says according to a KwaZulu-Natal Health Department parliamentary reply to the Democratic Alliance’s (DA’s) Imran Keeka, there was a “current shortage” of doctors in the obstetrics department at Queen Nandi.
The report says the Health Department did not respond to requests for comment about the overtime shifts, citing its response to the DA, in which it defended its decision to allow Madlala to work the overtime given his skill set and the shortage. It said the overtime rate was linked to Madlala’s salary grade.
Keeka labelled the payment “wasteful expenditure”. He said he had written to the Special Investigating Unit asking for an investigation of overtime abuses. Keeka is quoted in the report as saying that the overtime paid to Madlala would have covered the basic salaries of two part-time medical officers, or one junior doctor with overtime. These appointments, he said, would make more sense than paying for Madlala’s limited shifts.
An official at Ngwelezana Hospital said that Madlala was on leave, and that questions should be e-mailed to his secretary and the acting CEO for a response. None had been received by the time of publication.Sunday Times report (subscription needed)