The 150 new beds sponsored by BMW at the Bronkhorstspruit Hospital in east Gauteng will be completed with full equipment on 27 March this year.
This information was provided by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in an oral reply to my questions today at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.
According to Mokgethi, the extra beds are needed for a local population of 239 000, including patients using the major roads from Mpumulanga.
A total of 68 staff are being recruited for the extra beds.
It is welcome news that these beds will shortly be available for use, but the real need was earlier this year when the second wave of Covid-19 cases hit the city of Tshwane.
The Bronkhorstspruit beds were meant to be ready in mid-December last year, but a local dispute delayed the construction and the Gauteng Premier’s Office had to intervene to settle it.
Only 75 of the 300 extra beds promised for the Jubilee Hospital were available for Covid-19 patients at that time.
The Steve Biko Hospital, meanwhile, had to set up tents in the parking lot to cope with the flood of patients.
The greater need for extra beds is really at the Mamelodi hospital which is under great strain.
I hope that all the promised extra beds in the Tshwane area are ready and able to deal with any further surges in Covid-19 cases.