The Gauteng Health Department says it is paying special attention to the findings of the Public Protector’s report on the poor state of some healthcare facilities in the province.

The Public Protector’s report, released last week, painted a grim picture of health-care services at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Garankuwa, Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal, and Lillian Ngoyi Hospital in Johannesburg.

The Public Protector’s report revealed, among others, poor nutrition for patients, dilapidated ageing infrastructure and delays in the procurement of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). The Public Protector conducted an inspection at 17 health facilities in five provinces since the lockdown was declared. The provinces are Gauteng, Mpumalaga, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Public Protector releases third quarterly report:

In Gauteng, inspections were carried out at Lillian Ngoyi Hospital in Johannesburg, as well as Jubilee and Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospitals in the Tshwane District.

Deputy Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, says the health department has 30 working days in which to comply and implement the Public Protector’s remedial action.

“We proposed that at the Jubilee Hospital the department must ensure that it capacitate the hospital to ensure that it conduct its own COVID-19 tests. The procurement of COVID-19 test kids will ensure that in alleviating the turnaround time especially as we are in the second wave of the pandemic. Must also ensure that sufficient PPEs are received by hospital upon collection at the depot. In the case of Dr Mukhari Academic Hospital we propose intervention that has to do with risk management and business continuity.”

Gauteng health department’s spokesperson, Kgwara Kekana, says the Public Protector’s findings will go a long way in assisting them to improve healthcare services.

“The department has noted the report, revelations and recommendations by the Public Protector. After studying the report we noted a significant number of issues raised that have been addressed or progress being made at this stage. Our responsibility  remains to improve the health experience of our people and provide as much as possible the much needed care in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The report will contribute significantly in helping us improve the health care services for the people of Gauteng.”

The Public Protector has further urged the county’s health authorities to take their oversight role serious. She adds that this will ensure that patients receive good and quality healthcare services.