Nehawu flags concern about capacity at Gauteng hospitals

The union said it had hoped the Provincial Command Council would provide answers on how Gauteng planned to tackle the expected increase in COVID numbers. However, the briefing scheduled for Thursday was postponed indefinitely.

FILE: A nurse from Lancet Nectare hospital performs a COVID-19 coronavirus test in Richmond, Johannesburg, on 18 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng province is under pressure to provide clear measures on how it plans to deal with an expected peak in COVID-19 infections as holiday makers return from various destinations across the country.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) said it was concerned that some of the province’s hospitals were already taking strain.

In December 2020, the Democratic Alliance (DA) urged Premier David Makhura to fulfil his commitment of delivering 2,000 beds at hospitals across the province.

The union said it had hoped the Provincial Command Council would provide answers on how Gauteng planned to tackle the expected increase in COVID numbers. However, the briefing scheduled for Thursday was postponed indefinitely.

The union’s Clement Marule said they were worried that healthcare workers hadn’t been updated on a plan of action.

“As of now, we’ve done our assessment from mid-December until 4 January. There is already an alarming number of healthcare workers who are testing positive.”

He said they had asked for an urgent meeting with the Provincial Health MEC.

“In so far as the plans are concerned – what are the plans of the department to deal with this second wave?”

According to the union, some hospitals in the province, including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, were facing capacity issues.

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