I have today requested the Gauteng Legislature Speaker Ntombi Mekgwe for an urgent debate in the Gauteng Legislature on the failure to reopen the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH).
The hospital was closed after a fire on 16 April, but it has not reopened despite an assessment that most of the building is structurally sound, and the pressing need to save the lives of patients who require specialist care.
Senior doctors have called for safe sections of the hospital to be reopened as soon as possible, but it is unclear why this has not happened despite promises by the provincial government.
Patients who are most affected include cancer patients who need chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and kidney patients who require dialysis.
It is critical that the ICU beds at CMJH for Covid-19 patients are available for use as soon as possible as we face a devastating third wave of the epidemic.
The Gauteng public health system is in crisis as other hospitals are crowded with hundreds of CMJH patients.
There needs to be accountability for the failure to speedily reopen this 1000-bed hospital, as it is causing immense suffering to patients and will lead to deaths the longer it is closed.
The debate on this matter will go ahead at the sitting on Tuesday if Speaker Mekgwe grants my request that it be considered as a matter of urgent public importance.
This will hopefully pressurise Premier David Makhura to give a clear answer on the opening of the hospital.
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