Videos and images of seemingly working hospital beds piled up in a yard outside Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg began circulating on social media on Monday.
The Democratic Alliance's MP Jack Bloom posted photographs and the DA also posted a video.
Hundreds of beds dumped in the open at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, what a waste! The ANC cannot be trusted to fix health in Gauteng. pic.twitter.com/CTHrTU2ND1— Jack Bloom (@JackBloomDA) May 5, 2019
This is a shocking video that shows hundreds of steel beds at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital stored outside at the mercy of sun and rain.— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 6, 2019
This is a clear waste of state assets as these beds should be put to good use instead of rusting outside. pic.twitter.com/4MIgmTp0Vo
Bongani Bingwa speaks to Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and asks him for an explanation about the beds.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital was in the process of modernising and removing the old beds that they had lots of problems and the clinical and nursing staff complained about.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
He explains the beds were very high off the ground.
Patients used to fall and get injuries from them. They are made of steel and patients used to bang their heads as you saw in the statement we have released.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
We had to replace them and buy beds that are used in a number of modern hospitals.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
The new beds are called high/low electronic beds that can be adjusted up and down and can be wheeled around the hospitals.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
He acknowledges that the hospital's choice of ridding itself of the old beds was questionable.
They were using a wrong method because they were sending them to other smaller hospitals.
He says it is not right for any patients in any hospital to be using these beds and the Head of Department (HOD) stopped this.
These patients are as precious as patients in Bara.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
Unfortunately, he did not instruct them on the right method of disposal of state assets.— Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health
There are rules of disposal of government assets into communities, but they cannot be used in the health sector, he says. For example, organisations who need beds for people who are not sick would be suitable candidates.
Listen to the interview below: