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'Lives are at risk': DA slams 'delay' in reopening of Charlotte Maxeke hospital

Damage caused by the fire at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
Damage caused by the fire at Johannesburg's Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

The DA in Gauteng has criticised the health department for its failure to reopen the Charlotte Maxeke hospital after it was gutted by a fire a month ago.

DA Gauteng shadow health MEC Jack Bloom said on Monday some of the patients who were instructed to use nearby hospitals including Steve Biko and Chris Baragwanath have not received medical care due to backlogs. 

Bloom said the Gauteng legislature’s health committee and the hospital's CEO, Gladys Bogoshi, could not give a date for the reopening of the hospital in a recent meeting. Bogoshi said they are awaiting a fire safety certificate from the Johannesburg city council. 

We need to know what is holding up the safe reopening of sections of the hospital which is urgently needed as the upsurge in Covid-19 cases is putting strain on all hospitals in Gauteng,” said Bloom in a statement. 

Nearly 700 patients were evacuated from the hospital and the blaze destroyed more than R40m worth of medical stock and personal protective equipment (PPE). The department of infrastructure development and property management said last month the damaged sections will need structural repairs.

It could not say when the process will be concluded as it includes laboratory tests, the results of which will determine the extent of damage and repair work needed to be done. 

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