Gauteng Health MEC admits sewage problems at three hospitals

Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health

Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Maghangu has admitted that three major hospitals suffer from sewage problems that compromise patient care.

She was responding to my questions yesterday in the Gauteng Legislature concerning sewage flows at the Chris Hani Baragwanath, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg and Helen Joseph hospitals.

According to Mahlangu, there are regular inspections at the hospitals to pick up sewage problems.

There are piping problems at both Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath hospitals as the pipes are old and get blocked or leak. At the latter hospital there is a major sewage problem about every six weeks, which is attended to within 24 hours.

Pipes are often blocked by inappropriate materials that are flushed down, including linen, newspapers and sanitary pads. Even dead babies and foetuses have sometimes been disposed of in this way.

The problem areas at Helen Joseph are near the breast clinic and the pharmacy.

The MEC says that in certain instances the sewage flows can compromise the health of patients and staff.

She said that an upgrade of the sewage pipes at Chris Hani Baragwanath was planned.

I am astonished that there is not more urgency in fixing up the recurrent plumbing problems at these hospitals.

Hygiene at hospitals is non-negotiable. We need to see more action to stop the unacceptable sewage flows at these hospitals.