New Natalspruit Hospital short of 76 000 equipment items

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

76 581 out of 121 951 items of equipment still have to be ordered for the New Natalspruit Hospital in Vosloorus for it to be ready to receive patients.

This is revealed in a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Papo, reasons for the late completion of the hospital include payment delays to the contractor, incomplete works, training of workers, and the procurement, delivery and installation of loose equipment.

Staff from the existing Natalspruit hospital will also have to be transferred to the new hospital. The new hospital was built because the old Natalspruit Hospital is on unsafe dolomitic ground. Very little equipment from the old hospital will be used in the new hospital.

Papo says that “when total completion of the infrastructure is finished and all necessary equipment has been installed, a formal date will be communicated to the Legislature and the public.”

This is very disappointing as the hospital was originally meant to be completed in March 2009. The total cost to date is R1 587 708, which is more than double the initial quoted cost.

It’s a sad story of incompetence and failed promises.

Processes needed to be fast-tracked to ensure that this hospital opens as soon as possible.