Premier David Makhura has failed to clarify which are the five worst hospitals in Gauteng that will receive special intervention over the next 12 months.
In the printed version of his State of the Province speech there are only four hospitals listed – Mamelodi, Sebokeng, Bheki Mlangeni and Jubilee – but he also mentioned the Tambo Memorial and Tembisa hospitals.
I asked the Premier in the debate on his SOPA speech last week on Thursday to clarify the five hospitals and why other extremely bad hospitals are left off the list.
I would add the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital, where six babies died last year from klebsiella. The Human Rights Commission visited and called it a “crime scene”.
This hospital was assessed at only 70% for the National Core Standards, below the target of 75% and less than Tambo Hospital which got 86%.
Another terrible hospital is George Mukhari in Ga-Rankuwa, which treats the poorest of the rural poor but is dreadfully neglected.
I received an email from Lisa Tolkin who visited her beloved old former helper at this hospital.
“I thought that a hospital was a place for the sick … All I saw were cages of neglect, cruelty, fear and hopelessness … The wards were separated by dirty fabric screens like shower curtains … I found Phina, her eyes were tortured and she was struggling to breathe … There was no oxygen, or a drip … I took Phina’s emaciated hand, I put her shaking head under my chin and asked her to breathe with me. I told her that she was going to a peaceful quiet place, where there was no suffering … I continued to talk to her gently and lovingly until she stopped struggling and went quiet … I ran around looking for a nurse or doctor to confirm that she was dead … All the patients watched Phina’s undignified death … (and there were) flies on her body.”
The Premier unfortunately ignored my plea in the debate to clarify the worst hospitals and why Thelle Mogoerane and George Mukhari were left out.