Mandela Children’s Hospital opens next year, but no agreement yet with government

By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital is due to open in the second quarter of next year, but its relationship with government departments has yet to be determined.

According to a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, “the nature of the governance model of the hospital has to be agreed between the Nelson Mandela Children’s hospital trust, the Gauteng Department of Health, Gauteng Provincial Treasury, National Treasury and the National Department if Health”.

Mahlangu says that “the NMCH will focus on provision of tertiary services at levels T2 and T3. The hospital will therefore not be taking in walk-in patients but patients will be referred from Gauteng state hospitals, other hospitals nationally and from the SADC region.”

It is worrying that details have still not been settled between government departments and this 200-bed hospital which is being built with R1 billion privately raised money.

The National Health Department has pledged to provide core operations costs of the hospital and staff from Gauteng hospitals will also interact closely with it.

I hope that the hospital is not slowed down by government incompetence as it is being built in record time – two years as opposed to eight years for hospitals built by the Gauteng Health Department.

Government needs to finalise its relationship with the hospital so that it can open smoothly next year to receive its first child patients.