- In an exclusive interview with Briefly News, Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom criticized the pace of the reopening of Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital in Johannesburg.
- The hospital has seen parts of it reopen following the fire that ravaged it, with several other parts not due to reopen until 2023.
- Bloom said the length of time Charlotte Maxeke Hospital is not fully operational will impact Gauteng amid the Covid-19 pandemic
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Jack Bloom, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Health MEC, criticizes the slow reopening of Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg University Hospital (CMJAH) in Johannesburg.
Bloom made the remarks during a recent exclusive Brief News interview. The hospital has seen parts of it reopen following the fire that ravaged it in April, but the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development confirmed that several other parts are not expected to reopen until 2023.
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Bloom, who closely monitors all issues surrounding Gauteng public hospitals, said it was not a reasonable turnaround.
He said he was not convinced that the process of commissioning the healthcare facility, which must meet the primary care needs of 2,000 patients per day, is being taken seriously.
Fewer patients seen since partial closure
“I am very disappointed with how slowly the hospital is reopening,” Bloom said Brief News.
“It is horrible that the Ministry of Infrastructure Development thinks it will take two years to open the structurally safe parts of the hospital to patients. I am sure that the expertise of the private sector would be much faster.
According to Bloom, an oral response to his questions during a session of the Gauteng Legislature on Tuesday, August 10, by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi suggests that the partially reopened hospital sees only 381 outpatients per day on average.
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Bloom said this was compared to 2,344 outpatients before the fire – an 84% reduction. He added that there is not enough responsibility at the hospital which, if present otherwise, could have avoided the current fate of CMJAH.
Covid19 cases will be adversely affected due to the ability
As a result, the length of time the hospital is not fully operational will continue to impact Gauteng and the entire Johannesburg community amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Gauteng’s public health system has taken a hard hit with the slow reopening of this hospital,” Bloom explained.
“Lives are being lost in the Covid-19 pandemic because intensive care beds are not available, and other patients are suffering due to long waiting lists for specialized heart surgery.
“There must be accountability for the failure to detect gaps in fire safety at the hospital that could have prevented or limited the devastating blaze. This should include disciplinary action against hospital CEO Gladys Bogoshi. “
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Brief News previously reported that then-acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane blamed the hospital’s missing construction plans on apartheid. Bloom, however, said he disagreed with this view.
“It is ridiculous that the acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, blames apartheid for the lack of construction plans. This problem should have been identified and rectified by regular fire audits,” added Bloom.
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In a recent report, Brief News reported that while touring various vaccination sites across the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa is on track to achieve herd immunity against the coronavirus.
According to The citizen, more than seven million South Africans have been vaccinated against Covid-19 so far and the government plans to vaccinate more people as the country receives more vaccines and even more volunteers to administer the vaccines.
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“With seven million people who have now been vaccinated, we should soon be moving towards population immunity,” Ramaphosa said.
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