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Charlotte Maxeke to fully reopen only in 2023 after ‘at least’ R1bn repair

Johannesburg’s fire-ravaged Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital is likely to reopen only in 2023, after repairs and renovations amounting to at least R1bn, according to Gauteng Infrastructure Development and Property Management MEC Tasneem Motara.

She was responding to questions in the Gauteng legislature by DA shadow minister of Health Jack Bloom.

She said the radiation and oncology units had already reopened and the department planned to “continue to make safe areas declared safe and deemed critical by the clinicians to resume medical operations”, according to a TimesLIVE report. “This will be completed in 2023.”

The reopening dates for fire-damaged areas and those declared structurally unsafe by engineers depended on the outcome of the forensic investigation and the detailed structural investigation recommendations. Costs to make the hospital compliant with the OHS Act would be confirmed once all “internal processes had been concluded”.

She said there was no budget allocation in the current financial year set aside for the repair work.

Bloom said he was concerned that no budget had been allocated to fix the hospital and would need to be sourced “from existing maintenance and other budgets”, which probably wouldn’t be sufficient.

“An amount of R100m has been requested for remedial work after the fire, but there is no estimated construction cost yet for the repair of the most damaged part of the hospital. I estimate it will likely be about R1bn for full repairs,” he said.

In a Polity report, Bloom added that the situation has put other state hospitals, such as Helen Joseph, under extreme pressure: "Charlotte Maxeke is irreplaceable because it is an academic hospital. They have rerouted to other hospitals. Helen Joseph is suffering the worst. They can't cope."

More than 2 000 people have been waiting for cataract operations that have been postponed because of the situation, he said, and two years was a long time to wait for the reopening of the hospital.

 

Full TimesLIVE article – Patients must wait at least two years before Charlotte Maxeke fully reopens (Open access)

 

Full Polity article – Parts of Charlotte Maxeke hospital to reopen in 2023 – infrastructure dept (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

What really happened in the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire

 

Burst pipe floods five paediatric wards at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

 

Oncology at Charlotte Maxeke to open following SAHRC intervention

 

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