Wits University is engaging with the Gauteng health department for the suspension of paediatric gastroenterologist Dr Tim de Maayer to be rescinded, joining calls by civil society for government not to “punish the messenger”.
A petition calling for Dr Tim de Maayer's suspension to be withdrawn has also garnered more than 23,500 signatures since the news broke a day ago, as at noon on Friday.
His suspension came after he blew the whistle on poor working conditions at Johannesburg’s Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital last month. De Maayer is a joint appointee by the department and Wits.
“This is a ludicrous situation — instead of resolving the issues raised by the doctor at the coalface, the department has chosen to shoot the messenger,” said Prof Shabir Madhi, dean of the faculty of health sciences.
“It is not like our healthcare professionals have not raised these issues multiple times through the correct channels, but nothing has happened. How much louder can our doctors and clinicians on the ground speak?
“These actions are against the spirit of the agreement between Wits and the department with regard to the management of our joint staff.”