New Gauteng hospitals put on hold

Premier David Makhura.
Premier David Makhura.

Gauteng premier David Makhura's promise to build two new hospitals in Hammanskraal and Soshanguve to alleviate pressure on the Jubilee and Dr George Mukhari hospitals may still be a long way off.

The provincial government seemingly has no budget for the construction of these much-needed facilities any time soon.

Makhura's spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga and provincial health spokesperson Kwara Kekana revealed that even though a site for the new Jubilee Hospital has been identified, there was no allocation in the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) 2019/2020.

"As part of stabilising the department, an executive decision was taken to put a moratorium on new infrastructure and to focus on the maintenance of existing infrastructure," Kekana said.

In his state of the province address, Makhura named four of the worst healthcare facilities - Mamelodi, Sebokeng, Bheki Mlangeni and Jubilee.

During a surprise visit to Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal last week, Makhura said the provincial government was injecting capital into infrastructure projects to build facilities that are health standards compliance certified.

The SA Human Rights Commission also investigated the substandard conditions at the hospital.

Mhaga said the health department was also still in negotiations with the department of rural development for the site of the new Jubilee Hospital. "There is no appointed contractor for the Jubilee Hospital yet, because it's still at the initial stage of planning. The expected construction date for Jubilee Hospital is not known yet."

On the Soshanguve hospital, Mhaga referred Sowetan's sister publication Times Select to the national department of health, whose spokesperson Popo Maja did not respond to queries sent since Monday.

Mhaga said for the current financial year R3.7m was allocated for the maintenance of Jubilee Hospital.

He said the province was busy with the construction of various health institutions within a 20km radius of Jubilee Hospital, to ease pressure on the hospital. Mandisa Shiceka Community Day Clinic, 3.1km away, and Kekanastad Clinic, which is 7km away, are being built.

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