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Johannesburg -

The viability of running 20 public beds at a private hospital in Bronkhorstspruit is being assessed, the Gauteng health department said on Tuesday.

“We have increased services at our Mamelodi hospital which services that community as a regional hospital,” said spokesman Simon Zwane.

“So we are assessing whether it is viable for those beds, especially as there is a fully-fledged hospital in the area.”

The Democratic Alliance’s Gauteng health spokesman, Jack Bloom, said in a statement the department had given notice that the 20 beds at the Netcare Bronkhorstspruit Hospital would close at the end of June.

This would leave “a large gap” in health provision in this area, he said.

“The present arrangement, where this private hospital is contracted to treat public patients, works well.”

Bloom said local residents were upset about the closure, as the hospital was the only one between Pretoria and Witbank, and served an area with around 100 000 people.

Bloom urged the department to reconsider. - Sapa