Gauteng ICU field hospitals - 'There's a stench of possible corrupt expenditure'
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has reported that since June 2020 Gauteng has created 2,419 new critical-care and general-wards beds. He talked up the province’s plans to bring a further 775 beds on stream in January and February. “We have better capacity to face the second wave than we had in the first,” he said.
And yet the reality patients and health workers report on the ground seems to continue to contradict these asertions. Based on how much money it has spent – and contracted to spend – on building new ICU hospitals and upgrading old ones, the Gauteng Health Department should by now have been ready for the surge of patients during the second wave.
But it isn’t. Far from it, in fact.
Why are we still behind the curve?
In 2020, Maverick Citizen reported on the building of four ICU field hospitals using alternative building technology (ABT) chosen by the province. The new hospitals – at Chris Hani Baragwanath, George Mukhari, Jubilee and Kopanong hospitals – were supposed to provide an additional 1,400 beds, but became shrouded in questions and possible corruption.
Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood has more.
In April the Gauteng Health Department took a decision to expand its capacity, correctly so because they anticipated the first wave and now we are in the second wave. As part of that there were four new ICU hospitals around Gauteng. The decision was contested by doctors and clinicians from the beginning ... but the department went ahead.Mark Heywood, Editor - Maverick Citizen
When the first wave came the hospitals were nowhere near ready 20% or 30% and now were in midst of a second wave and in the eye of the storm and the hospitals are full. Those that are built already don't have staff and that is the situation at Chris Hani Baragwanath, for example, that has a 500-bed ICU facility.Mark Heywood, Editor - Maverick Citizen
There's a whole number of questions about wasteful expenditure, possible corrupt expenditure and worst of all, it leaves us in a critical state without ability to hospitalise many people when this wave increases.Mark Heywood, Editor - Maverick Citizen
Listen below for the full interview...
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