Gauteng state hospitals and clinics fail safety audit

State hospitals in Gauteng are non-compliant with the occupational health and safety act
State hospitals in Gauteng are non-compliant with the occupational health and safety act
Image: 123RF/Lucian Coman

All the state hospitals in Gauteng have been found to be non-compliant with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

This is according to Jack Bloom, the Gauteng shadow MEC of health, who on Thursday said that this was revealed by the MEC of health Dr Bandile Masuku during a written question and answer session.

"This bombshell information was revealed by Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng legislature," Bloom said.

"According to Masuku, 'all facilities audited received either a non-compliance finding, such as a contravention and/or improvement compliance notice and fire contravention.

The following hospitals are said to have been the most non-compliant in the province: Bheki Mlangeni Hospital, Far East Rand Hospital, Tembisa Hospital, Kopanong, Mamelodi, George Mukhari, Ekurhuleni district clinics, and Johannesburg district clinics.

Bloom further said Bheki Mlangeni Hospital was built only five years ago, but faces a range of serious safety risks that include the following: psychiatric patients escaping through fire escape doors, chained exit doors, a risk to patients and employees in case of a fire or emergency,roof leaks on rainy days, the air conditioning settings are extremely hot in summer and extremely cold in winter due to a design problem, which also leads to the cancellation of operations, an overcrowded accident and emergency section, leading to cross infection, the records section is overflowing with patient files, fire escape doors are blocked and the existing fire alarm systems are not functioning properly.

He said other hospitals at high risk included Tembisa Hospital - non-compliance in the stores and main kitchen and faulty pressure equipment, Far East Rand Hospital - not compliant due to the unavailability of emergency exit routes and a fire detection system in most parts of the hospital, Mamelodi Hospital - a dysfunctional ventilation system in the accident and emergency unit, Kopanong Hospital - employees are at risk of being trapped inside the freezer, leaking roofs, peeling walls, plugs in wards not SABS-compliant, redundant fire hydrants, storm water and sewer pipes frequently blocking.

"These are alarmingly high safety risks and worse, we only know the risks in those facilities that have been audited, whereas most of them have not."

Bloom said that occupational safety has been neglected at Gauteng hospitals and clinics, endangering staff and patients.

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