On 25 March, Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla and Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said by mid – April the Emergency/Casualty Unit at Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital would be back in action – and it’s still not open.
So, what’s the hold up? Gauteng department of Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said there would be an update on Charlotte Maxeke this week.
However, with missed deadlines of reopening, displeased health workers and lack of resources were all a reflection of the deteriorating state of health care in South Africa and experts couldn’t agree more.
University of Pretoria associate professor for health systems and public health Dr Elize Webb said there was much room for improvement in terms of health care.
According to Webb, there was a need to improve service delivery, drug management, staff shortages, and management skills.
“Many good people need to capitalise on what’s working well,” she said.
Democratic Alliance shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said it was appalling the health department missed the deadlines in reopening Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital casualty when other hospitals were looking forward to the reopening.
“When will this casualty reopen?” he asked Bloom said patients who would normally go to CMJH casualty which was also a specialist hospital were now diverted to other hospitals such as Helen Joseph, Edenvale hospital which didn’t even have proper resources and could not cope.
“They are all experiencing patients they did not have before and they don’t have resources,” he said.
“Casualty is accidents emergencies and as CMJH being a specialist hospital that deals with difficult cases, I don’t think other hospitals can cope with the extra numbers of people they get.”
Bloom added that when will the next deadline as they have missed all of them since January.
He said the continued failure to meet ever-moving deadlines showed deep incompetence.
“What is the actual problem,” he asked.
“The time for excuses is over. Private sector expertise should be optimally used to reopen the CMJH casualty as soon as possible .