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Free State hospital in a dilapidated state, unable to provide proper care

Sagging ceiling is just one of the signs of decay at hospital in Kroonstad. l FILE/HENK KRUGER

Sagging ceiling is just one of the signs of decay at hospital in Kroonstad. l FILE/HENK KRUGER

Published Feb 10, 2023


Pretoria – The Boitumelo Regional Hospital in Kroonstad, Free State, is unable to provide adequate care to patients as the facility is facing problems with its crumbling infrastructure.

According to GroundUp, buckets have been set out on the floors of some wards and theatre rooms to catch water leaking from broken ceilings.

This was witnessed by the publication when it went to visit the health facility last week.

They reported that an extension of the hospital building and upgrades started in 2010. In July 2014, further renovations were done.

However, staff said conditions at the hospital were deteriorating, with leaking ceilings, and broken windows covered with cardboard.

Last week, nurses and other staff went on strike over poor working conditions at the hospital.

About 80 patients had their surgeries rescheduled between October and December 2022.

“I’ve been going to the hospital for surgery since 2018… They keep postponing,” Langelihle Makhoba was quoted as saying.

Another patient, Mamiki Mnguni, from Oranjeville, who lives about 100km from the hospital, told the publication that she was scheduled for a gallstone removal on January 19, but was told the theatre wasn’t working and was told to return in April.

When the publication asked questions, the hospital CEO Sibongile Mthimkhulu referred the questions to the Free State Department of Health.

The department’s spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, responded to the questions with a screengrab from a memo sent by Mthimkhulu which details progress made on infrastructure repairs.

According to the memo, ceiling panels have been replaced and two theatres have been painted, among other things.

When GroundUp visited the hospital again on February 6, ceiling panels were still broken and some of the theatres were not yet fully functional.