R6bn needed for Gauteng hospitals to be safety compliant – Jack Bloom

DA MPL says years of poor maintenance have resulted in not a single one meeting standards

R6 billion needed for Gauteng hospitals to be safety compliant

4 September 2019

Gauteng public hospitals are in such bad condition that it will cost about R6 billion to make them compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA)

This was revealed in a presentation by the Gauteng Health Department to the Gauteng Legislature’s Health Committee on Friday last week.

All 32 hospitals need expensive building alterations, ranging from R11 million for the Rahima Moosa Hospital to a whopping R810 million for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Other hospitals that require extensive refurbishment for safety reasons include the following:

Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital - R394 million

Helen Joseph Hospital - R379 million

Edenvale Hospital - R278 million

Kalafong Hospital - R267 million

Sizwe Tropical Disease Hospital - R262 million

George Mukhari Hospital - R246 million

Kopanong Hospital - R229 million

Tembisa Hospital - R222 million

Jubilee Hospital - R219 million

Leratong Hospital - R217 million

Sterkfontein Psychiatric Hospital - R208 million

Tambo Memorial Hospital - R200 million

South Rand Hospital - R187 million

Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital - R184 million

Far East Rand Hospital - R184 million

Carletonville Hospital - R181 million

Sebokeng Hospital - R177 million

Yusuf Dadoo Hospital - R166 million

Critical areas include general machinery regulations, electrical installation regulations, fire-fighting equipment, lift regulations, storage, exits, stairs and aisles.

There is very little funding for this in the 3-year Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), but the Department is submitting proposals for R1.7 billion for the 10 worst hospitals in the province.

I doubt whether the money will be made available in view of budget tightening by the National Treasury.

The R6 billion is probably an underestimate as the Department of Infrastructure Development is notorious for choosing contractors that fail to deliver, pushing up costs.

I am alarmed that years of poor maintenance have resulted in not a single Gauteng Hospital that is compliant with safety legislation.

This means that none of them can be part of Government’s National Health Insurance (NHI) as they need to be accredited by the Office of Health Standards Compliance (OHSC).

We will never solve our health problems if government doesn’t improve its management dramatically and spend money efficiently and effectively.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, 4 November 2019