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By Chisom Jenniffer Okoye


DA vows to watch ‘sick’ Gauteng hospitals

Gauteng health MEC spokesperson Kwara Kekana said a key focus is dealing with Occupational Health and Safety compliance.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has vowed to keep close tabs on Gauteng’s state hospitals after not a single one was found to be compliant with Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) standards.

DA Gauteng health MEC Jack Bloom released answers from the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to questions he posed about the assessment of Gauteng health facilities.

The response reads: “All facilities audited received either a noncompliance finding, such as a contravention and/or improvement compliance notice and fire contravention.”

The hospitals assessed included Bheki Mlangeni Hospital, Far East Rand Hospital, Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital, Kopanong Hospital, Mamelodi District Hospital, George Mukhari Academic Hospital, Ekurhuleni district clinics and Johannesburg district clinics.

“You have to read between the lines,” Bloom said. “I don’t think most facilities in Gauteng have been assessed. We will push that every single one is assessed and ask whether recommendation measures are being taken.”

Gauteng health MEC spokesperson Kwara Kekana said a key focus is dealing with OHS compliance. This is in line with the commitment to improve patient experience, deal with staff morale and accelerate social transformation.

“Health infrastructure forms part of society’s social assets, and is therefore important for eradicating asset poverty among our people,” Kekana said.

“Some of these resources will be directed to the 10 hospitals requiring urgent improvements as stated by both the premier and MEC.

“These are Bheki Mlangeni, Jubilee, Mamelodi, Tembisa, Tambo Memorial, Edenvale, Dr George Mukhari, Kopanong + Sebokeng ‘Complex’ and Thelle Mogoerane hospitals.

“In 2017, the department, along with Gauteng infrastructure development department, undertook a conditional assessment of all facilities.

“From that report, issues of OHS were highlighted as a major concern which Gauteng provincial government had to focus on, noting that majority of the facilities were not compliant”.

One of the key infrastructure measure in this financial year will be geared to ensure OHS compliance.

The department will be investing more than R1 billion for maintenance and refurbishment, Kekana said.

“The department has also set itself an annual target of ensuring 100% administrative OHS compliance.

“The 2019-20 first quarter performance of the department shows we are currently at 55%, which is on course with attaining the 100% by the end of the financial year.”

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Democratic Alliance (DA) Jack Bloom

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