Covid-19 Surge, Puts Spotlight Back On State Of Gauteng Hospitals

HOSPITALS
EXPOSING THEFT AT CHARLOTTE MAXEKE HOSPITAL: Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

The state of Gauteng hospitals has again come under the spotlight amid the surge in Covid-19 new cases.

“Are Gauteng hospitals ready for a 5th wave of Covid cases?” was the question posed on Monday by Jack Bloom, the Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health.

“Yesterday there were 1 727 new cases and 10 933 active Covid cases recorded in Gauteng, compared to 460 and 4 333 active cases a week before,” said Bloom.

“This is an alarming jump.

“At this stage, we do not know the severity of the Omicron sub-variant, which appears to be driving the new wave of cases, but hospitals can expect a flood of Covid patients in the next few weeks.”

Bloom said he was concerned that Gauteng Health Department “lacks effective leadership as Covid-19 cases are shooting up in a likely 5th wave as we approach the winter season”.

Earlier in March this year, Gauteng hospitals including Chris Hani Baragwanath and Helen Joseph hospitals were under the spotlight over food supply problems, blamed on expired contracts and poor financial management.

The DA Gauteng shadow MEC for health said last month the acting head of department Dr. Sibongile Zungu left “for undisclosed reasons”, and her post remains unfilled.

“The department has not had a permanent head since Professor Mkhululi Lukhele resigned in October 2020 after he was implicated in the misspending of PPE funds,” said Bloom.

“Additional senior posts, including Chief Financial Officer, are still filled by acting personnel.”

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