Tebogo Msimanga |
The Gauteng Health Department used R500 million of Covid-19 funds to refurbish the Anglo Ashanti hospital in the Far West Rand, but it currently has only six Covid patients receiving low-level care.
Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health Jack Bloom said this was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to his questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
On 14 May 2021, Premier David Makhura opened a 181-bed hospital with great fanfare but Bloom said according to Mokgethi, only 25 Covid-19 patients have been treated so far in total. “These patients receive “step down services”, and need to be transferred to other West Rand hospitals if they need specialist treatment.”
Bloom added that the tragedy is that the expensive refurbishment of this hospital, which was donated by the AngloGold Ashanti mining company, was to provide ICU beds, but they cannot be used as they do not have equipment. “None of the beds have oxygen provision for patients, which is the main thing that saves lives in this terrible epidemic.”
He further said there are 32 staff running this hospital and 24 more staff are being recruited to start on 1 August. “It would have been far better to have spent the R500 million on extra beds and staff at other hospitals, rather than this white elephant hospital.”
Bloom concluded by saying the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating the spending of funds on the hospital, “which confirms my suspicion that corruption is involved in this appalling waste of money.”