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Gauteng hospitals under scrutiny

Healthcare and poverty in Gauteng came under scrutiny when community representatives aired their grievances to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, at the Johannesburg City Hall.

Madonsela engaged with various stakeholders, including members of provincial legislature, government officials, traditional authorities, civil society, political parties, women’s organisations and the general public to get a sense of the problems they experience.

Residents vented their frustrations about the poor quality of services and infrastructure at public hospitals and clinics around Gauteng.

A retired nurse, Lynn Daniels, noted the incompetence of nursing at the Helen Joseph Hospital.

“Nurses don’t understand basic nursing procedure; it’s a disgrace how the quality of nurses and their standards has dropped,” she said.

A resident from Soweto described how he had received bad service at the Baragwanath Hospital.

“I sat for days on end without being fed or looked after.”

In response, Baragwanath CEO, Dr Sandile Mfenyana, acknowledged the challenges faced at the hospital and said measures had been put in place to address some of them, and that the facility’s management had the support of the National Department of Health.

“We commit to working within the resources we have, we will not fail the people of Gauteng,” he said.
Madonsela urged Mfenyane to urgently attend to matters at the hospital that did not need money to fix.

She’s been doing surprise visits at hospitals in the province and had an eyewitness account of the conditions hospitals are faced with.

Madonsela noted overcrowding, under-staffing, unhygienic surroundings, shortages of medicine and important equipment, including incubators, ventilators and blood pressure meters.

She told complainants that her office would investigate the matters and follow up with provincial and municipal authorities on the undertakings they had made during the meeting.

Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Nonceba Molwele, articulated the City’s interventions to address the challenges in health and the poverty.

“We have been interacting with communities to identify the problems faced”, said Molwele.

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