Despite promises that the casualty department at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) would reopen in April this year, it remains closed, causing huge distress to staff and patients at other hospitals that cannot cope with the flood of extra patients, writes Jack Bloom, DA shadow MEC for health in a statement.
Gauteng Health MEC Nomafrench Mokgethi originally promised that the casualty would be open in January this year, then moved the date to mid-March. This continuing failure to meet ever-moving deadlines shows deep incompetence.
It follows the failure of the Gauteng Health Department and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development to speedily repair the hospital, giving this task over to the National Department of Health (NDOH).
According to the NDID, vandalism and theft have caused the delays in reopening the casualty. The CPU for the CT scanner was stolen, cables were cut into pieces, and copper pipes were stolen.
This occurred despite R40m a year that is spent on a security company and CCTV cameras to guard the hospital.
Meanwhile, the Helen Joseph Hospital’s casualty department is overwhelmed with patients who are squeezed into corridors and sit in chairs for long periods before being admitted to wards.
The time for excuses is over. Private sector expertise should be optimally used to reopen the CMJH casualty as soon as possible and fix up the rest of the hospital as well.
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