by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
Large areas of Tembisa Hospital are unsafe, including the outpatients, obstetric and emergency wards, but there are no funds to fix them.
The shortage of funds is due to long-running mismanagement and corruption that dates back to the disastrous period when Brian Hlongwa was Health MEC.
Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa, revealed in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, that the following areas in this hospital contravene the Occupational Health and Safety Act:
- Bulk store
• Accident and Emergency Unit
• Outpatients Department
• Family Medicine Clinic
• Obstetric ward (Mother and Child Unit)
• Various wards and temporary structures
• Emergency Medical Service (EMS)
• Public and staff parking facility
• Access points
• Management of all wet services inclusive of the dolomite risk management plan which is not yet implemented
A new Bulk Store is planned as the current one is on unsafe dolomitic ground, with an estimated cost of R124 million.
But this project as well as other upgrading projects are on hold because of financial constraints, and will only occur when funding becomes available.
Meanwhile, the EMS is currently functioning from makeshift containers, and other services are also taking place in non-compliant temporary structures.
I am very concerned that staff and patients are at risk in unsafe places in this hospital which is notoriously overcrowded and needs to be upgraded and extended.
Determined measures are needed to root out corruption and to ensure that the department’s large R46.4 billion budget is spent effectively so that there are funds for urgent upgrades at unsafe hospitals.