Gauteng Health secures 36 additional beds for Tembisa Hospital

Tembisa Hospital. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

Tembisa Hospital. Picture: Dimpho Maja/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 12, 2023


Joburg - In a bid to address overcrowding at Tembisa Hospital, Gauteng MEC for Health Nomantu-Nkomo Ralehoko has announced the procurement of 36 additional beds for the embattled hospital.

This was confirmed in a statement to the media on Sunday, with Gauteng health department spokesperson Motaletale Modiba saying these beds would go a long way in resolving the bed crisis at the hospital.

Modiba said a new Alternative Building Technology (ABT) ward with a capacity of 36 beds had been opened as part of ridding the hospital of bed shortages.

“Serving three metros in Gauteng, mainly Ekurhuleni, Joburg and Tshwane, the Tembisa Hospital is constantly seeing an increased demand for health services. The new 36-bed ABT is already relieving pressure at the hospital’s accident and emergency unit,” the MEC said.

Late last year, Independent Media reported that the hospital had a shortage of beds and, to deal with the crisis, was forced to discharge patients who had not fully recovered.

Some of the patients were reported to be sleeping on the floor due to this shortage.

A 36-year-old male patient shared how neglected he felt from the day he was admitted to the hospital, adding that he did not feel like he was going to make it out alive.

The MEC added that there were plans to extend the number of beds at the hospital in the 2023/24 financial year to deal with the matter.

“We are also planning to build a 300-bed mother and child unit at the facility. There are also long-term plans to build another health facility to replace the old Kempton Park Hospital, which will alleviate the current pressure felt by Tembisa Hospital,” Nkomo-Ralehoko said.

In 2022, the hospital came under fire from the DA after the party received reports that it was discharging sick patients due to bed shortages.

The DA said it had received complaints from Gogo Mantoa Letitia Mokoena, 65, who was allegedly discharged from the hospital while she was severely ill.

Her family alleged that she did not have bed sores before her admission to the hospital. The party said it had also seen photos from her family that exposed her septic bed sores and her current state.

“It is saddening that patients, particularly the elderly, are being discharged while still ill and how they are treated at this hospital. They are either waiting in long queues at casualty or in cold corridors for a bed to sleep in, or they are being discharged without receiving adequate medical care,” the DA said at the time.

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