DA reiterates Gauteng health facilities are danger to patients and staff
CAPE TOWN - As Johannesburg closed down all public facilities in response to the Covid-19 outbreak, the opposition Democratic Alliance on Thursday flagged a report that found Gauteng's health facilities were a danger to patients and staff.
DA MEC for infrastructure, Alan Fuchs noted that the capital budget document for the coming financial year states: “the department’s infrastructure continued to suffer from a cumulative deferred maintenance backlog resulting in the deterioration of the value and functionality of facilities posing increased danger to both patients and employees.”
Fuchs said the state of the public health system in Gauteng was aggravated by a decision in 2018 to suspend all infrastructure projects because of financial constraints.
"This moratorium has been lifted, but the financial situation has not improved to the extent required to deal decisively with infrastructure shortcomings.
"A recent conditional assessment of 32 hospitals in the province indicated that an estimated amount of R6 billion was required to ensure that the facilities were compliant with health and safety requirements."
According to the budget for the year ahead, R1.33 billion will spent over the three years. But, Fuchs said, at the time the maintenance budget had been reduced by R189 million compared to 2019.
The country's health care workers have cautioned that the public health system lacks hospital beds and other infrastructure to cope with the coronavirus.
Government late on Wednesday published a raft of regulations to curb the spread of infection, which has so far hit Gauteng the hardest.
Johannesburg mayor Geoffrey Makhubo moved to close all public facilities indefinitely. In a statement on Wednesday evening, he described the step as drastic but responsible, given the high percentage of the city's 5.5 million people who live in informal settlements.
African News Agency