Jane Sithole, MPL
Spokesperson on Health and Social Development:
Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela has been rated the second worst hospital in the country following a nationwide oversight tour by DA Shadow Minister of Health, Dr Wilmot James MP.
Click here to see full report.
Some of the discoveries made by the DA during the tour were that;
- The hospital’s generators have not been working since July 2014;
- When the electricity goes off, doctors and nursing staff are expected to keep critical patients, including new born babies alive by manually bagging them to keep them breathing until the electricity comes back on;
- The batteries in the ventilators were not working, posing life threats to patients during power outages;
- Secondary infections were on the rise, this was likely due to the rising temperatures in the theatre because of non-functioning air conditioners;
- A patient had died due to loadshedding. The patient couldn’t be ventilated because the necessary equipment didn’t work.
The DA wrote to the provincial health MEC, Gillion Mashego urging him to ensure that the generators were immediately repaired or replaced, to which the MEC replied that two of the hospital’s three generators were in full working order.
In his response, MEC Mashego detailed how much of the department’s budget had been allocated to maintain the generators but did not confirm whether the money had ever been used for this purpose.
In order to urgently remedy the problems facing the hospital, the DA will pursue the following remedial action;
- Request the Ombuds within the Office of the Health Standards Compliance to conduct an investigation into non-compliance of National Core standards at problematic hospitals;
- Request the National Portfolio Committee on Health to conduct oversight at Rob Ferreira;
- Request the Auditor General to conduct a full-scale performance and financial audit of Rob Ferriera Hospital.
The treatment that injured and ailing patients receive in public healthcare facilities such as Rob Ferreira Hospital is usually the factor that determines whether the patient will live or die. As such, the DA will not allow for the government’s continued abuse of public healthcare facilities which in turn fail to provide decent care to the citizens of this province.