by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
I commend the visit last week by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the deaths of 9 babies from Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC) at the Rahima Moosa Hospital in west Johannesburg.
According to the SAHRC regional manager Buang Jones, the hospital management conceded that it has violated patients’ rights to quality healthcare.
I am concerned that the origin of the NEC outbreak has not yet been established, and it is likely that shortages of staff, equipment and beds contributed to the deaths.
This hospital needs to be upgraded to cope with 13 000 births every year despite not having an intensive care unit, a laboratory service or 24-hour blood bank on site.
The appointment of a permanent Hospital CEO should be speeded up as the previous CEO retired in June this year, and staff and equipment shortages should also be rectified.
It is unacceptable that mothers give birth in an environment of risk rather than top quality care.
I hope that real solutions emerge when the SAHRC subpoenas Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa and Head of Department Professor Mkhululi Lukhele to account for the conditions at this hospital.