About 2,000 outpatients a day cannot be treated at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital since the fire damage on 16 April this year, causing much suffering as other hospitals are unable to cope with the extra patients referred to them.
In a press statement, the Democratic Allaince’s Jack Bloom said this information was disclosed on Tuesday (10 August) by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in an oral reply to his questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mokgethi, the partially reopened hospital now sees only 381 outpatients a day on average, compared with 2344 outpatients before the fire – a reduction of 84%!
Departments that are still closed include some of the surgical and medical specialities, psychiatry, accident and emergency, trauma unit, maternity emergencies and paediatric emergencies.
The majority of outpatient services have been transferred to other hospitals with CMJH staff and equipment. This causes major disruptions in treatment and much inconvenience as sick patients have to travel further distances. Helen Joseph Hospital has been worst affected with large numbers of emergency patients stuck for days at casualty before being admitted to a ward. This includes the sad case of 26-year-old Sichelesile Dube who died in a wheelchair after staff ignored her for more than a day.
Only 489 beds have been opened at CMJH, compared with more than 1000 beds previously.
Mokgethi could not give a firm date for the opening of all departments at CMJH as this is dependent on work done by the Department of Infrastructure Development. She said that Accident and Emergency, as well as Psychiatry, would not be open by the end of this year as they are in the section most damaged by the fire.
I am distressed at the continuing delays in fully reopening this hospital, which badly hits thousands of patients, including those who need surgery to save their lives or alleviate
The Gauteng Health Department should be innovative and use private sector expertise to speed up the repair of CMJH as soon as possible in order to get all its departments running.
Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health