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Johannesburg - The Limpopo health department acknowledged on Friday that it was experiencing a shortage of medical equipment.
“We do have a shortage of medical equipment, it is not a secret,” spokeswoman Adele van der Linde said.
She was responding to allegations by the Democratic Alliance in Limpopo that the department was destroying medical equipment while patients suffered.
DA MPL Desiree van der Walt visited the FH Odendaal Hospital in Modimolle on Thursday.
She said patients were found sleeping on the floor because of a bed shortage, and alleged some beds and wheelchairs were “dumped”.
Van der Linde said Van der Walt had stumbled into the assets unit where broken equipment was kept, and said they did not just dump equipment.
She said the department was unhappy with Van der Walt's approach.
“She did not get permission to get into the unit, she was there illegally,” said Van der Linde.
Van der Walt said it was unthinkable that the provincial government was destroying useful essentials like beds and wheelchairs.
“We are pushing for an urgent meeting with the health MEC Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba to explain why the Limpopo government was dumping medical equipment instead of repairing it,” she said.
The party also said the hospital experienced a food shortage and nurses were sometimes forced to bring their own food to feed patients.
Van der Linde said the department had not heard allegations about a food shortage. - Sapa