New Psychiatric wards still not completed at Helen Joseph Hospital

by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC

Completion of the new psychiatric wards at the Helen Joseph Hospital is more than two years overdue, which means that only 20 psychiatric beds are available when 40 beds are required.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Gwen Ramokgopa in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Ramokgopa “the delay in the psychiatric wards at Helen Joseph Hospital continues to be of concern. The Head of Department has been instructed to intervene and ensure it is completed within the current (financial) year” (note: this would be end-March 2019).

Meanwhile, patients can wait for a bed “anywhere between 24 – 48 hours. Critical patients are prioritized.”

The renovation of the two psychiatric wards started in November 2014, and was supposed to be completed by August 2016.

A vital project is yet again stalled by poor project management and probable corruption.

I am appalled that mental health patients are still treated badly in Gauteng even after the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

Real change in the Gauteng Health Department will only occur when the failing ANC is removed by voters.