The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital pacemaker lab has been declared structurally unsafe, says Bongiwe Gambu, spokesperson for the MEC for the Gauteng department of infrastructure development, who cited leaks above the cardiac theatre as one reason why the unit has become high-risk.
Gambu told City Press that the leakage into the pacemaker lab was due to “a blocked toilet in a ward above, which is locked as it is a restricted area”. “There was also a leak above the cardiac unit last weekend due to a rusted Flushmaster and aged infrastructure.”
Gambu said the flooding in the cardiac unit was from a contractor working on the plumbing system who had not isolated the water supply. “Some leaks date back two to three months, due to acts of vandalism.”
Earlier this month City Press reported that Wits University dental students, who are based at the hospital, were fed up with the cramped and hazardous conditions in which they work.
However, SA Medical Association chairperson Angelique Coetzee said: “It seems many media reports are inaccurate and the problems in the hospital have been grossly exaggerated,” adding that the hospital was “70% inpatient and 80% outpatient function, and has a number of technical issues related to new by-laws introduced by the City of Johannesburg that apply to all new building”.
Because it was an old building, it did not comply with those by-laws. “They are now having to fix them.”
On April 16, a fire destroyed part of the building and equipment, resulting in damages worth millions. The hospital was shut down and patients transferred.
Its June reopening was cancelled due to “lack of adequate structural plans” for the oncology unit, which was to be the first phase of the reopening.
Gambu had previously blamed the delay “on the approval of the radiation and oncology unit by the City of Johannesburg, which was dependent on the acquisition of fire doors that were long lead items”. This came after it was revealed that the hospital did not have a building plan.
Takgalang Consulting was subsequently appointed to draw up the missing sections of the hospital floor plans, Gambu told City Press in June.
See more from MedicalBrief archives: