Kempton Express
2 minute read
29 Jun 2018
5:08 pm

1 236 patients left without a bed at Tembisa Hospital

Kempton Express

The construction of additional wards is not feasible as this facility is built on dolomitic ground.

Tembisa Hospital.

The number of patients forced to sleep either on the floor, stretchers, benches or chairs at Tembisa Hospital in Johannesburg has drastically increased from March 2017 to March this year, Kempton Express reports.

“It is unacceptable that 1 236 patients at Tembisa Hospital have had to resort to this due to overcrowding at this hospital,” said Refiloe Nt’sekhe, DA Kempton Park constituency head, in a statement.

The statistics were revealed in a written reply by Gauteng MEC for health Dr Gwen Ramokgopa to questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.

According to the MEC, one of the reasons for severe overcrowding at Tembisa Hospital is because the population of its feeder area has grown while hospital infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the demand for services.

“While the department has made arrangements to have additional beds placed in wards where there is overcrowding, this is a quick fix solution to a long-standing problem,” Nt’sekhe added.

According to Ramokgopa an arrangement had also been made with Tshwane District Hospital for the admission of some of the patients at Tembisa Hospital when wards were full.

Since Gauteng started collecting data on the overcrowding of Tembisa Hospital in March last year, the number of patients who did not have beds had risen from seven in March 2017 to a record 337 in March 2018.

Since September last year, this number of patients remained high: September, 183; October, 156; November, 128; December, 12; January, 31; February, 229.

The DA believes this overcrowding is also a result of the shutdown of Kempton Park Hospital in 1997.

“This hospital should never have been closed as residents of Kempton Park have added to the demand at Tembisa Hospital. Construction of additional wards at Tembisa Hospital is not feasible as this facility is built on dolomitic ground,” said Nt’sekhe.

“The only solution to the problem of overcrowding at Tembisa Hospital will be the construction of another district or regional hospital to service the area and neighbouring suburbs.”

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