Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
6 May 2021
4:57 pm

No sign of reopening Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Three weeks later, the blaze has now put the government's ability to fight Covid-19 in jeopardy.

Fire damage at Charlotte Maxeke hospital in Johannesburg. Picture: Twitter/@GautengHealth

There is still no sign of reopening the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital three weeks after a fire gutted several sections of the Johannesburg facility.

Patients are apparently still in distress, despite being diverted to other facilities around Gauteng, according to the DA.

After complaints from patients and the public on the lack of coordination in the mammoth task of diverting patients, the Gauteng government has moved to reassure patients that contingency treatment plans had been made.

“We wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused to patients and the community at large and also appreciate the overwhelming support from various quarters”‘ says health department spokesperson Motalatale Modiba.

According to DA shadow MEC for health Jack Bloom, about 150 cancer patients who require radiation therapy have not been adequately catered for.

Also Read:Cancer patients ‘abandoned’ at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, claims DA

The Gauteng department of health has instructed patients with prior bookings for medical oncology to report Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital on Wednesdays or Fridays.

Those who require haematology treatment should also report to the same hospital’s haematology clinic. The clinic can be found behind the mortuary between Hospital Street and Clinic Street, it said.

“I think it was a very inadequate statement because I am still dealing with very worried patients. They only mention chemo and haematology but they don’t mention radiation treatment. There are 150 cancer patients requiring radiation therapy and probably a high number of patients that still need to be diagnosed. The other problem is of course getting records of patients because of the fire damage,” says Bloom.

Three weeks later, the blaze has also put the government’s ability to fight Covid-19 in jeopardy . The province is now 800 beds poorer and approaching a third wave in the winter months, Bloom adds.

Also Read: Charlotte Maxeke Hospital diverts its major services

Patients are advised to contact the Gauteng Citizens Relationship Management (Hotline) on 0800 22 8827 / 0800 428 8364 or email  hotline@gauteng.gov.za or support@gauteng.gov.za about how they can get access to services that are normally rendered at the hospital.

The department has postponed all elective surgery or procedures for the period of the closure of the hospital. These will have to be re-booked once the facility is operational again. Patients are advised that in case of an emergency they should go to their nearest health facility for assistance.

Caesarean sections and antenatal services have been diverted to Discoverers Community Healthcare Centre a day before the date. All patients who were admitted to Charoltte Mazeke are seen by consultants at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Bertha Gxowa Hospital in Germiston and Helen Joseph Hospital in Auckland Park.

Simnikiweh@citizen.co.za