Patient care at the Steve Biko hospital is suffering as the MRI machine has been broken for nearly a month.
It’s another blow for patients after non-urgent surgery was recently cancelled for more than a week because of broken air-conditioners in the operating theatre.
The use of an MRI machine is essential in the diagnosis of certain cancers, as well as in giving a clearer picture of injuries to soft tissues, joints and internal organs.
The MRI at Steve Biko is 16 years old and is no longer on a service plan as it should already have been replaced.
It broke in August this year because of cable theft and was then fixed, but the unstable power supply from load-shedding has been blamed for another breakdown in mid-September.
Usually, this machine is used for about 10 patients a day, so more than 150 patients have not been properly diagnosed as the only alternative MRI is at the Kalafong hospital.
This latest breakdown shows the need for pre-planning to purchase new machines when required and proper servicing for existing machines.
It’s another failure by the corrupt and dysfunctional Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development.
The DA proposes that authority should be devolved to the CEOs of major hospitals like Steve Biko to ensure proper maintenance of machinery and purchase new machines when necessary.