Hospital explosion death: MEC must investigate

Jacques Smalle

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader

Health MEC, Ms Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, must urgently probe the explosion at Donald Frazer Hospital in Vhembe that killed one worker and injured another on Monday.

The explosion happened in the hospital kitchen. It is alleged that the hospital’s appliances are extremely old and dangerous to work with. Similar incidents are imminent if the department does not properly maintain equipment at hospitals across the province.

Staff are already working in difficult conditions with severe staff shortages and large numbers of patients. Hospital infrastructure in general is also not up to scratch, placing pressure on staff and their ability to deliver quality medical services. It is completely unacceptable that basic kitchen appliances are also defective and clearly pose a danger.

The DA is aware of a number of maintenance service providers who have not been paid by the Health Department and who are currently withholding services until payment is made. Some have even instituted legal proceedings to compel the department to pay up.

It is clear that proper maintenance is not happening in Limpopo’s hospitals. This tragic incident is a result of Limpopo’s inability to properly maintain hospital infrastructure.

The MEC must investigate exactly what happened at the Donald Frazer Hospital and why kitchen equipment has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent that it has become dangerous to use. The guilty parties must be held accountable for this.

The DA urges the MEC to probe the incident with immediate effect and ensure that all outstanding payments are made to the service providers to do their work.