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PP's office to extend facilities tour to field hospitals across SA

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her deputy Kholeka Gcaleka have been touring hospitals to check whether they're capacitated to deal with COVID-19.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Office of the Public Protector on Thursday said it would be extending its investigations into the state of healthcare facilities to field hospitals in the country.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her deputy Kholeka Gcaleka had been touring hospitals to check whether they're capacitated to deal with COVID-19.

Short staffing and poor quality personal protective equipment have been flagged at the majority of facilities so far.

Gcaleka said she would be escalating these issues to the Health Ombudsman and other regulatory bodies.

She said the field hospitals needed to be assessed for usage beyond the pandemic.

“The other hospitals have raised the relevance of those field hospitals moving forward, considering the surge of the virus has gone down. But also, that there is no futuristic assessment that was done of these field hospitals. So, we are going to have to engage the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure within the province as to which field hospitals can be converted into intensive care units.”

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