A fire broke out at the Carletonville Hospital, destroying PPEs and medical equipment worth R23m. Picture: Supplied.
A fire broke out at the Carletonville Hospital, destroying PPEs and medical equipment worth R23m. Picture: Supplied.

R23m worth of PPE, medical equipment destroyed in Carletonville Hospital fire

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Feb 5, 2021

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Johannesburg – A fire that broke out at the Carletonville Hospital destroyed personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical equipment estimated to be worth over R23m stored at the facility’s storeroom.

No one was injured and hospital services continued. According to Gauteng Department of Health’s Kwara Kekana, the fire broke out at around 6am on Thursday and the cause is not yet known.

Besides the PPE, an X-ray unit, blankets, sheets, vital signs monitors and medical instruments were destroyed.

Kekana said the items were stored at one of the buildings at the hospital known as Old Crèche Building. “It caught fire, resulting in the significant destruction of items inside.”

She said the equipment had been there since April 2020 and would be replenished.

“The Old Crèche building had been used as a storage facility for personal protective equipment and for health equipment that had been temporarily stored at the facility.

“There were no staff or patient casualties as a result of the fire. However, most of the items in storage were completely destroyed.”

Kekana said the hospital had been requested by Gauteng Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID) to assist with temporary storage of health equipment and linen meant for the Anglo-Ashanti Hospital during its construction phase, due to the relative close proximity of the hospitals to each other.

“A team of engineers from DID visited the site to assess the electrical appliances and the department awaits their official report. Furthermore, the fire department has already initiated investigations into the cause of the fire and a police case has been opened to also investigate all issues surrounding the cause of fire.

“The hospital has replenished PPE stock from the provincial warehouses and an alternative storage area has been identified within the hospital to keep the stock.”

The DA’s Jack Bloom said an independent investigation was needed to determine whether the fire was due to negligence or sabotage.

“This is a severe loss and accountability is needed for the lack of preventive measures that allowed it to occur.”

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