Chris is about to have a Smi.le Week here in PE. There is a NPO called the Smil.e Foundation which help fund a week of operations for children with facial deformities – mostly they have cleft lips and palates but also other more complex problems or other issues such as needing reconstructions following burn wounds or whatever. As you all know the Health Dept doesn’t get a lot of good press and the Eastern Cape is no exception. Smi.le are a big, highly organised organisation that hold a few of these weeks in different places in South Africa every year. This will be the first one in PE as Chris has taken part in Smi.le Weeks before (while at Tyg.erberg) and he has managed to convince Sm.ile that PE is able to hold such a week. Everything was going really well until the CEO’s and other incompetent idiots that run the hospitals in PE got wind of it and started trying to get involved. They are absolutely terrified of any negative publicity??? WTF, this is the ideal opportunity for some much needed positive publicity – 35 children all getting operated on in 1 single week. 2 other plastic surgeons are coming to help Chris and as I mentioned – Smil.e have done this so many times before that they know how to make sure that everything runs like clockwork.

The kind of stuff that they are worried about – the Wednseday happens to be a public holiday (because of the voting) and this was only declared after they’d organised the dates for the week. The doctors are obviously all happy to work despite it being a holiday but Chris asked for a list of all the nurses scheduled to work on that day so that Smi.le could pay them for their time. No, according to the bright sparks in charge that isn’t fair as how could one fairly decide who gets to work and who doesn’t??? So any nurses that work that day can’t get paid thanks to the CEO and his cronies. They have consulted 3 different labour unions about the whole week (WHY??? Maybe they are terrified that someone might complain if they have to do any extra work??? Again, WTF this is a charitable thing for children – who on earth is going to complain about working a bit extra (which they won’t have to as it’s all been carefully planned). Oh dear maybe the answer to that question isn’t as onbvious as one would imagine.

They (the doctors) MAY NOT speak to the media. Have you ever heard such crap? They would rather have their own highly efficient PR department that have no clue about the first thing about plastic surgery and have made no effort to find out anything about what is going to happen speak to the TV and radio and newspapers about the week. They are so scared that the doctors might say something negative about the hospital (Why would they do that, this is about helping children not a platform to complain). They are suddenly worried about what the hospital looks like. A car crashed into the outside wall of the hospital months ago and a piece of the wall fell down and that is now a huge issue??? Nevermind the paint is all peeling off the walls and the grass is never cut. They were quite surprised that Smi.le said that the ward and hospital looked good. Surely if whoever is high up in government happens to see the hospital on TV and sees that it doesn’t look good then they might be more inclined to throw some money their direction to make things look better. If there’s no money for maintenance then why make everything look perfect or maybe it’s because there is enough money budgeted for maintenance and they’ve just wasted it all.

This kind of mentality makes me rather concerned about the future of SA. How can you see a wonderfully postive initiative as a threat and merely as an oppurtunity for things to go wrong which will then put you in a bad light. Are you that sceptical of your own abilities to manage that you’d rather the children went untreated. Why not see this for what it is – a chance to help children in a profoundly significant way and at no cost to your precious budget. Wonderful free publicity, who in their right mind would try and turn that down? They are getting themselves in such a tizz that they are just causing havoc left right and centre, including scheduling meetings without telling Chris (who is the main organiser) or any other doctors – rather making sure the cleaners, porters, 3 labour representatives, nursing staff,etc. are there but none of those (except some nurses not told about the meeting either) know anything about what is happening. Interesting meeting that must have been. No wonder they are now terrified and think that nothing has been organised. It’s actually quite funny but also unbelievably sad. How did such incompetent people get to be in such powerful positions? No wonder the hospitals are all falling apart. The really sad thing is that it’s driving Chris nuts and he is getting more and more keen to leave government as he just can’t stand working with people that are so incompetent and that’s really sad as the people that would suffer would be the patients that would no longer have access to any plastic surgery in the entire Eastern Cape.

If Chris reads this I know he’ll ask me to delete it as obviously he’d be in huge Sh1t if any of the bigwigs read this but it’s making me really mad.


4 Responses to “Dilemnas”

  1. darylfaure Says:

    Makes me so cross as well to read this! So fed up with the fat cats in this country who make a fortune, and don’t do any work at all, and the poor poor people who have to suffer. I so hope people will show their dissatisfaction when they cast their votes, but just know I am living in false paradise.

  2. cat@juggling act Says:

    Oh I agree – just does not make sense. In any event, glad to meet you – my hubby comes from PE originally and I love the place.

  3. Vancouvermom Says:

    I understand your frustration, I’m so sad and angry that the people in charge are so short sighted, selfish + reluctant to see the bigger picture despite their negativity. The team working so hard to make this ‘smile’ week possible must be a highly motivated, resilient group to put up with this nonsense ( to put it very politely) and to keep going.
    I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and look up smile and make a donation. Wishing your husband and his team( including the support team at home 🙂 all the strength you need to make this happen.

  4. Marcia (123 blog) Says:

    hello hello hello

    I thought I’d contact you as I think of you often but I don’t see your posts popping up anymore.

    have you stopped blogging?

    is everything okay, Katherine?


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