Jabulani Hospital should be extended

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

The newly-opened 300 bed Jabulani Hospital in Soweto is not significantly reducing the patient load on the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, which points to the need for another new hospital in Soweto.

This is my conclusion after my visit yesterday to the Jabulani Hospital.

The Internal Medicine ward at Baragwanath is grossly over-crowded, with some patients sleeping on the floor, but the 66 Medical Ward beds at Jabulani Hospital are also full.

Jabulani is a Level One District Hospital which cannot treat more serious cases.

Ideally, Soweto should have a medium size Level Two Regional Hospital to provide effective care for this large population area.

The problem is that the Gauteng Health Department is currently incapable of planning and building a new hospital in good time, as shown by the Jabulani Hospital that was built five years late and way over budget.

Last year the department failed to spend R1.35 billion, which could have built a good hospital.

My view is that the empty state-owned land next to the Jabulani Hospital should be used for an extension that could be built fairly speedily if the department is prepared to use private sector expertise.

The department hasn’t even applied for any extra capital budget because it claims it cannot spend it.

I recommend that a high-grade extension to the Jabulani Hospital be considered as soon as possible.