Soweto's Bheki Mlangeni hospital not equipped for risky births - DA
Durban - The Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto is overcrowded and ill-equipped to handle risky births, according to the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The party's Gauteng health MEC, Jack Bloom, said he was "concerned" that the 33-bed antenatal ward at the hospital was full and that 14 expectant mothers, including high-risk cases, had been placed in other wards.
"The risky cases include five patients who are past their expected delivery date who are now in the labour ward when they should have been transferred to a higher-level hospital.
"The problem is that Bheki Mlangeni is only a low-level district hospital and does not have the highly-trained midwives and 24-hour doctors in its maternity section to handle complicated births," said Bloom in a statement.
The hospital needed to be expanded and upgraded in order to provide a proper health service to Soweto residents, he added.
"It is very disappointing that the hospital was opened with high hopes six years ago with an entirely new staff, but has been plagued by poor management and a jobs-for-pay scandal.
"Its troubles continue even though special intervention was promised when Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku identified it as one of the ten worst hospitals in the province.
"Urgent action is needed to ensure that pregnant women at high risk get decent treatment at this hospital or are speedily transferred to a better-equipped hospital."
African News Agency (ANA)