Bronkhorspruit Hospital closure means residents must seek help 46km away

Les Labuschagne MPL

Spokesperson on Economic Development

Residents of the greater Bronkhorspruit area, which includes Bronkhorstspruit, Ekangala and surrounds, will have to travel at least 46 kilometers to an alternative healthcare facility due to closure of the public health facilities at the Bronkhorspruit hospital.

In response to my question in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature Health MEC Hope Papo indicated that there were no plans to build a new public hospital in the area.

Transport in the area is unreliable more so after hours and a further shortage of ambulances mean residents who are in need of medical care are faced with a dilemma: they must either use limited public transport or wait until an opportunity arises to travel the 46km to the nearest facilities, possibly only the next day or later in some instances. Unfortunately illness doesn’t observe office hours.

The closure of the public healthcare facilities will also put pressure on already stretched public hospitals in Pretoria.

The DA is deeply concerned about the fact that no satisfactory alternative healthcare facilities will be provided for residents of the area.

Proper healthcare facilities is of pivotal importance in every community, including in Bronkhorspruit, Ekangala and surrounds. Adequate access to healthcare is a basic human right and the provincial government must make adequate provision to ensure that the people of Bronkhorspruit, Ekangala and surrounding communities are not deprived of this right.

The DA calls on Health MEC Hope Papo to ensure that the lives of residents in the area are not unnecessarily placed at risk by the lack of adequate healthcare facilities in the area.