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'Audit all Gauteng hospitals on food' — health professionals' alarm at Bara Hospital shortages

Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital faces food shortages for patients. File photo.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital faces food shortages for patients. File photo.
Image: Mduduzi Ndzingi

The South African Medical Association (Sama) has called for an audit of food supplies at Gauteng hospitals as Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital (CHBAH) faces a food shortage. 

The shortage is allegedly due to disruptions in the supply chain and Sama urged the Gauteng health department to take immediate steps to mitigate and resolve the problem.

Sama recommends an audit and projection of food supplies at hospitals in the province so that steps for food security can be taken and resources moved to CHBAH,” said the association on Thursday. 

CHBAH is the third largest hospital in the world, with about 3,200 beds and more than 6,700 staff members. About 70% of admissions are emergencies, accounting for more than 350 daily patients. Annually, about 150,000 inpatient and 500,000 outpatient cases are registered.

“A shortage of perishable supplies in a hospital can be a serious issue as patients need proper nutrition to aid their recovery.

“The lack of nutrition hinders the ability of patients to recover within an expected time period, translating into CHBAH having to turn incoming patients away due to beds being occupied for longer periods.”

Sama applauded doctors and other health professionals at the hospital who, despite being severely understaffed, had displayed great compassion towards patients by assisting with nutritional needs to help promote recovery.

“Hospital staff, who are required to provide the best in patient care, should not be expected to perform their duties under these persistent distressing conditions,” said Sama. 


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