Parliament unhappy with continued closure of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital
Share this article:
JOHANNESBURG – Parliament's portfolio committee for health is concerned that the continued closure of the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital will have a negative impact on the ability of the Gauteng public health system to manage the third wave of Covid-19 infections.
The committee’s chairperson, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said they had conducted an oversight visit to Gauteng to assess the province’s health-care facilities in rolling out phase 2 of the vaccination programme as well as measures in place to manage infections.
“It will be practically impossible for the province to manage the third wave without the more than 1 000 beds which is inclusive of 124 Intensive Care Unit beds at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital.
“This matter needs urgent attention and we have committed as the portfolio committee to engage national ministers to see how they can assist to ensure that the facility is ready and available to assist in the management of the third wave,” Dhlomo said.
He said his committee was of the view that all stakeholders, including the Department of Health (both provincially and nationally), the City of Joburg and the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure must urgently meet to find solutions to ensure that the facility is ready and available to assist in managing Covid-19 infections.
“Also, the importance of the facility stretches beyond the management of Covid-19, with the hospital having speciality services that are of benefit to other provinces as well. The continued unavailability of these services is untenable, hence the need for urgent action,” Dhlomo emphasised.
Despite this, the committee welcomed the intention by the Gauteng Department of Health to open more vaccination sites to expand access to vaccines.