Tebogo Msimanga |
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) is calling for an immediate investigation of the fire that took place at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.
“Gauteng Department of Health suggests that the fire started at the Special Dispensary stores at around 11:20 am on Friday. The fire apparently gutted the dispensary where all the dry and medical items are kept.”
NEHAWU General Secretary Zola Saphetha said this is a setback considering that workers are already in dire need of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. “The fact that the fire raged on for many hours proves that occupational safety measures are not adequately adhered to at the hospital. Investigations must reveal if the hospital has a functional fire sprinkler system and other measures to deal with such an ordeal.”
Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Saturday announced that they have temporarily shut down Charlotte Maxeke Hospital for seven days.
The Spokesperson for Gauteng Health MEC Kwara Kekana said 415 patients were evacuated from Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital to various facilities across the province. “The primary focus at this stage is to save lives and ensure a total evacuation of 270 patients to other facilities.” Kekana said details on the cause of the fire are still unknown.