Shock at sorry state of facilities at George Mukhari Hospital
Broken doors, paving and windows, unsanitary toilets, leaking water pipes, building rubble and litter on the hospital site are just some of the issues that confronted the provincial health portfolio committee at the hospital.
DA spokesperson for health Alan Fuchs said the committee was greeted first-hand by a hospital falling apart and deteriorating at an increasing rate when they went there.
He said officials from both the Department of Infrastructure Development responsible for maintenance as well as those from health who oversee infrastructure, were there to see the damage.
Fuchs blamed the poor state of the hospital on the management vacuum within both departments, which had persistently failed to integrate their responsibilities in ensuring maintenance was on track.
“Up until now there has been no policy that defines the maintenance dynamics nor are there operating procedures that indicate how the two sets of officials who are responsible for maintenance are to work together.
“The result has been a total lack of integration between departments and a downward spiral in terms of getting ahead of maintenance problems.”
In fact, things were so disorganised that even the officials present could not account to the committee regarding the issues.
Yesterday both departments could not give comment on the report. They simply shrugged their shoulders and stated that the hospital was old.
Fuchs said that what worried the committee the most, however, was that despite construction work taking place in the kitchen, staff had continued to prepare food at the facility.
He said this was something the department had misinformed the committee about when questioned.
“While the kitchen staff valiantly tried to manage the situation, the department supplied us with disinformation indicating that construction only took place after hours, which was not the case.”
Fuchs added that the incompetence in the public infrastructure sector was yet another indicator of how the National Health Insurance (NHI) being looked into was more of a pipe dream.
“It is not surprising that it has been estimated that in order for 32 hospitals in Gauteng to become safety-compliant, the administration needs to find R6billion. A shrinking economy and incompetence within the public infrastructure sector are likely to make the NHI a pipe dream.”