by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
I welcome President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit today to Tembisa Hospital, but tangible improvement must follow from it, otherwise it will merely be a public relations effort like former President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Steve Biko Hospital last year.
The problems at Tembisa Hospital have been extensively highlighted over the years, including staff and bed shortages, and broken equipment.
I have seen for myself patients sleeping on the floor at the casualty department.
I hope that President Ramaphosa is told about the inadequate beds and poor security in the psychiatric ward, which has resulted in psychiatric patients being placed in other wards. This has led to assaults on 8 staff members since January last year, and the death of one psychiatric patient allegedly assaulted by another patient.
Staff and patients also have to suffer a CT-scanner that keeps breaking down.
The situation at the hospital is worsened by the Gauteng Health Department’s freezing of posts even though 230 more staff are needed there.
The Department’s building freeze also means that the promised new Kempton Park hospital will not be built soon even though it is sorely needed to take the pressure off Tembisa Hospital.
It will need more than sweet words by President Ramaphosa to fix Tembisa Hospital which is a victim of the provincial health department’s poor management and inability to resolve its budget crisis.