Deputy PP: Baragwanath Hospital will have problems if second COVID-19 wave hits

Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka on Wednesday visited the facility as part of an inspection tour of hospitals in the country by her office to see whether they were capacitated for the pandemic.

Deputy Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka (centre) on 19 August 2020 embarked on an inspection of Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto to assess the hospital's state of readiness to deal with COVID-19 cases. Picture: @PublicProtector/Twitter

SOWETO - Deputy Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka on Wednesday warned that if Gauteng was to be hit by a second wave of COVID-19, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital would experience problems.

Gcaleka visited the facility as part of an inspection tour of hospitals in the country by the office of the Public Protector to see whether they were capacitated for the pandemic.

Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital was given over R181 million for human resources but was battling to find doctors to assist in the fight against COVID-19. The facility has treated almost 3,000 COVID-19 patients and recorded 443 deaths.

Gauteng is expected to experience a second surge of coronavirus cases over the next few months.

Gcaleka said that there were some inconsistencies between what management at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital told them and what hospital employees had to say during the inspection.

“Management has reported that they have sufficient [personal protective equipment] PPE, however, when we did our rounds, the staff was complaining that the PPE doesn’t reach them,” Gcaleka said.

The deputy Public Protector also had the opportunity to speak to some patients who were waiting to be served.

Gcaleka will be flagging the problems at the hospital with the Health Ombudsman and the provincial Department of Health.

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