Thursday, 20 June, 2024
HomeNews UpdateLack of ICU beds in Gauteng puts newborns at risk

Lack of ICU beds in Gauteng puts newborns at risk

A shortage of nearly 100 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds in Gauteng hospitals is risking babies’ lives, especially premature and sickly infants.

The worst affected is Chris Hani Baragwanath which has only 18 neonatal ICUs but should have 35.

DA shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said this shortage was a major factor in the 909 baby deaths at this “very busy hospital with high medical negligence claims” that could have been avoided there in the past three years.

In response to question in the legislature from Bloom, Gauteng Health & Wellness MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko said Edenvale Hospital in Ekurhuleni has no NICU beds at all, while Pholosong Hospital in the far East Rand needs another 17 more NICU beds. Charlotte Maxeke has 14 functioning ICU beds for children, but needs 20 to provide a proper service.

Additionally, Kalafong Hospital is short of 13 NICU beds; Tambo Memorial Hospital is short of eight; George Mukhari, Edenvale and Mamelodi hospitals each need six more, and Leratong Hospital needs three more NICUs.

“At Edenvale Hospital, babies mostly die awaiting tertiary care, and despite claiming it has adequate ICU beds, Thelle Mogoerane Hospital also says babies die waiting for tertiary care,” said Bloom.

Another constraint was the shortage of NICU nurses, with much blame placed on the delay in accrediting nursing training courses.


News24 article – Babies die in Gauteng hospitals because of a lack of ICU beds – DA (Open access)


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