She visited the falling hospital this week and saw the appalling conditions herself.
Premier Refilwe Mtshweni has said that the conditions that patients find themselves at the collapsing eMalahleni hospital was hurtful and brought her close to tears.
She visited the hospital Monday this week 18 March 2019 to do a “clinical and infrastructure assessment”.
“I am at pain,” she said while at the overcrowded Down Town public hospital, “it is hurting to see such situations in our hospital”.
“We cannot continue to subject our people to such conditions. We cannot accept things as they are. Something ought to be done, and it must be done now,” the Premier said.
The hospital was built by then mining company Witbank Colliery in the early 1900s.
In 1910, the company donated the hospital to government and since then it has been in existence and treating patients.
In 2012, extra wards were added to the hospital by government – in response to the growing population in the area and the hospital became a tertiary hospital.
Mtshweni said the hospital’s facilities were falling apart – and required major renovations as it has a “bad reflection” on government and a “proper” one should be built, she said.
She said that “such environment was not conducive for patient care” her spokesman Zibonele Mncwango said, “in some of the wards the wall plaster and paint was peeling off with threatening cracks”.
“There were massive leakages on the roof as it is damaged and rusted. Some portions of ceilings were gradually falling off due to damage caused by water leakages from floors above,” Mncwango said after their visit at the hospital.
The Premier was accompanied by health MEC Sasekani Manzini and infrastructure development MEC Gillion Mashego.
She spoke to hospital management, patients and the media.
“It is a bad reflection on us, let us construct a new proper tertiary hospital here in Witbank,” she said.
She said the current eMalahleni hospital will have to return to its former status of district hospital – than now when it is a provincial hospital, and Impungwe district hospital converted to a psychiatric hospital, while eMalahleni TB Hospital continuing to operate as a centre for the treatment of TB and related diseases.
“We need one another to turn around the situation,” said the Premier.
Mncwango said Mtshweni has instructed Manzini to develop “a new hospital master plan” and “speedily attend to maintenance issues at the current eMalahleni Hospital”.
(edited by ZK)
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