The psychiatric ward at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital is in dire need of renovation, but completion of the work has been delayed yet again because the contractor has not been paid, says Jack Bloom, Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng shadow health MEC in a report on the Politicsweb site.
Bloom writes that renovation of the ward was supposed to be completed in 2014, but this is now the fourth company that has failed to do the job. Angry workers have flooded the ward with water, forcing the evacuation of medical staff, and mental health patients are now in unsatisfactory temporary wards.
He writes that two years ago, then Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa disclosed that the cost of the ward had tripled to R34m and she promised that it would be finished in March 2018.
Earlier this year, Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said that the ward would be completed by 31 October, but this deadline has not been met.
Bloom says this shows yet again the utter incompetence of the Department of Infrastructure Development which is repeatedly incapable of choosing building companies that can do the job or doesn’t pay them on time, so they abandon the project. The new ward would expand the number of beds from 20 to 40, but psychiatric patients at this major hospital continue to suffer in unsuitable facilities despite lessons that should have been learned from the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
He asks how it can be that no fewer than four contractors have failed to complete the new ward which is more than five years overdue?Report on the Politicsweb site