News | South Africa | Health
Heaps of sand, pipes, scaffolding and barbed wire are the only hint you get something is being built behind the
The R12 million upgrade to the hospital is a construction site with unpainted walls, building rubble and no hospital beds. Not a soul is seen in sight besides the security guard at the gate.
Tshwane Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Bronwynn Engelbrecht said the extra beds should have been completed by 15 December but that was delayed when subcontractors downed their tools and demanded more money to finish the job.
BMW South Africa spokesperson Diederik Reitsma said the upgrade to the hospital, where 150 additional beds will be added, was 95% complete.
“It is not a huge delay, the hospital is nearly finished,” he said.
The unfinished building at the Bronkhorstspruit Hospital, 18 January 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney
Reitsma said he visited the site over the weekend and said the dispute was between contractors and subcontractors and that work would commence soon.
“BMW has already delivered on its promise to help fight Covid-19 by upgrading nine hospitals and four clinics,” he said.
Other hospitals which benefitted from the upgrades include Dr George Mukhari Academic, Jubilee and four primary health care clinics in the Tshwane district.
The Soshanguve Clinic received a new Covid-19 screening and testing facility earlier this month.
Belinda Mahlangu was sitting in line to get tested outside the clinic and said she is impressed with the new building.
A young man, seated not far from her, did not share her compliments about the clinic.
The man, who did not want to be named, said he brought his father to the clinic.
“The building might be nice but the service sucks. We brought our father in for an emergency and we are still waiting two hours later,” he said.
“We have been sitting here from 11 am to past 1pm with no help.”
The man pointed to nurses inside the screening stations and said they were very rude to his ill father.
Meanwhile, department of health spokesperson Kwara Kekana has slammed DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom’s recent press release, saying parts of the statement were factually inaccurate.
Kekana said the Bronkhorstspruit Hospital had been a 50-bed district hospital since its inception in December 2015 and offered 24-hour services for accident and emergency, midwife obstetric units, inpatient in one building with one entrance and exit point.
Kekana said in 2018 an additional eight beds were donated to the hospital which was repurposed to admit the patient under investigation (PUI) section as the main hospital couldn’t due to the infrastructural constraints.
“There was a need for additional bed capacity support which came from the BMW partners.”
“Other reasons were the increase in numbers of the PUIs that could have been managed at district level without having to be transferred to Tshwane district hospital or Mamelodi regional hospital. That alleviated the pressures on our cluster.”
Kekana said it was estimated more than 200 000 people from Cullinan and Rayton would benefit from the hospital.
“Bronkhorstspruit as a community needs this additional bed capacity increase to address the number of referrals and its inability to provide a comprehensive service package in line with district hospital and community needs,” he said.
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