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The Democratic Alliance is alarmed that there is not a single Gauteng public hospital that complies fully with health and safety legislation.
This is revealed in the Third Quarterly Report of the Gauteng Health Department that was tabled this week in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. It covers the period from October to December last year.
According to the report, none of the province’s 37 hospitals are compliant with all 23 regulations in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).
The only progress reported is that 6 hospitals, including Tara, Kopanong, Sebokeng, SMU Oral, Tshwane District and Far East Rand, are compliant with six of the statutory requirements of the OHSA.
These requirements include the designation of representatives to serve on health and safety committees, and doing a Hazardous Identification and Risk Assessment.
The department admits that other hospitals are not doing this, and don’t even send the minutes of meetings.
It has been estimated that it would cost about R6 billion to ensure that all the hospitals comply with healthy and safety legislation, but little budget has been made available for this.
Fires are a worrying hazard as there have been four hospital fires in Gauteng in the last seven years, including the devastating fire at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.
It is extremely disturbing that many years of poor spending on maintenance has led to the parlous state of our hospitals which risks the lives of patients and staff.
We need a proper plan with adequate funding to ensure that all Gauteng’s public hospitals are protected against avoidable health and safety risks.
Issued by Jack Bloom MPL - DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health