Gauteng govt still can't say when Charlotte Maxeke Hospital will reopen

The provincial government has failed to show results of its “phased” approach to repairs, with MEC Mokgethi telling the council that they were still waiting for the installation of doors in the oncology unit which will be the first to reopen.

FILE: A fire broke out at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg on Friday, 16 April 2021. Picture: Twitter/@GautengHealth

JOHANNESBURG - As the country grapples with the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gauteng government still cannot say with certainty when the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Johannesburg will reopen following a fire that forced its closure.

This is despite the surge in new COVID-19 cases in the province, with confirmation that many public and private facilities have run out of beds and space in key units.

Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi presented the department’s budget vote in the provincial legislature on Thursday.

READ:

- Installation of fire doors an outstanding issue at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital

- Third wave, additional Maxeke patients putting major strain on Bara Hospital

- Trauma as Charlotte Maxeke Hospital failed to make plans for cancer patients

The provincial government has failed to show results of its “phased” approach to repairs, with Mokgethi telling the council that they were still waiting for the installation of doors in the oncology unit, which would be the first to reopen.

“The first doors will arrive in batches. We expect all of the work to be concluded next week Tuesday, unless something unforeseen happens.”

This was the same explanation given last week when questioned about the continued closure in light of the health care capacity challenges in Gauteng caused by the pandemic.

The MEC said they were aware that the aftermath of the fire had “severely” affected health workers and that they had lost ICU, high care and COVID-19 beds.

The province has 7,859 COVID-19 active cases.

Last month, Eyewitness News revealed that dozens of cancer patients from Charlotte Maxeke were struggling to continue with their treatments, while others were concerned about setbacks in their recovery after going for weeks without chemotherapy or radiation.

Although some of the patients were transferred to Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, not all were prioritised.

A health worker at Charlotte Maxeke told Eyewitness News at the time that they feared some cancer patients may have died due to the disruptions in treatment.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.