Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
THE Department of Health has dismissed claims that public hospitals were not ready to deal with medical disasters that might occur during the World Cup.
"I do not know where Efraim Kramer (a Fifa medical officer) gets that kind of information," spokesperson Fidel Radebe said.
"We do not agree with his statement. The earmarked hospitals are ready.
"If Fifa has concerns about health matters it is only appropriate that they raise them with us."
His remarks come after Kramer, who is also an adviser to the Local Organising Committee, said at a doctors' conference yesterday that public hospitals had "absolutely no idea" of how to implement disaster management plans because they had not been tested.
Kramer is head of emergency medicine at the Witwatersrand University.
"Hospital disaster plans are actually a disaster," he said.
He said hospitals had failed to upgrade their general facilities, emergency departments and disaster training sufficiently for the World Cup.
Kramer said private hospitals, which are some of the best in the world, were better prepared and had good disaster plans.
Radebe said the department had given Fifa a guarantee that earmarked public hospitals near the stadiums were ready for any eventuality.
Some military hospitals will also be utilised.
"We expect such statements on the eve of big events such as this World Cup, whether it is on health, transport or security," Radebe said.
The following are some of the public hospitals near World Cup venues to be used during the tournament:
lGauteng: Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke hospitals in Soweto and Johannesburg. In Pretoria: Steve Biko Academic and Dr George Mukhari hospitals.
lKwaZulu-Natal: Albert Luthuli and King Edward hospitals in Durban.
lNorth West: Job Shimankana Tabane and Moses Kotane hospitals.