ICU bed shortage taken to protector

The Public Protector’s office could probe the lack of facilities for young children in state hospitals.

Red Cross Children's Hospital’s Ward B1 has received a R13 million make-over. Picture: Chanel September/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A Red Cross War Memorial Hospital professor on Wednesday said there is a dire lack of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) paediatric facilities in the Western Cape.

The Institute for Accountability recently approached the Public Protector to investigate the lack of facilities for young children under five, at state hospitals countrywide.

Statistics indicate at least 75,000 children die annually due to a lack of intensive care facilities.

Paediatric unit director, Professor Andrew Argent, confirmed there is a shortage of such facilities in the province.

"There are relatively few beds in the Western Cape. At the moment, Red Cross has 20 beds available and Tygerberg has around 12 beds. That's really the total number of ICU beds for children."