Delays on the reopening of the abandoned Kempton Park Hospital are not only depriving vulnerable residents of access to healthcare services within their vicinity. Still, they have put a severe strain on neighbouring facilities like Tembisa Hospital.
I have raised concerns and continuously demanded answers as to why Kempton Park Hospital remains closed when it should alleviate pressure on Tembisa Hospital.
There may not have been enough funds to reopen the whole hospital, however, the Gauteng Department of Health should use a phased approach.
I also requested the department to disclose the structural integrity report, which is yet to be seen. However, the department responded to confirm that the hospital was built in 1978 and has a lifespan of 100 years.
The delays in refurbishing and reopening Kempton Hospital have resulted in overcrowding at Tembisa and Edenvale Hospitals.
Apart from this, Kempton Park hospital is allegedly being used for criminal and immoral activities instead of being refurbished and re-opened to benefit residents who are in dire need of access to healthcare services.
Patients are left to sleep in wheelchairs and wait for days at causality due to the shortage of beds. Last week, Gogo Sarah Ndou passed away in her home after being discharged at Tembisa Hospital without being given proper healthcare due to a shortage of beds.
Tembisa and Kempton residents cannot continue to suffer at the hands of the provincial Health Department.
I demand that the Gauteng MEC for Heath, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, fast-track the reopening of the Kempton Park Hospital. Tembisa and Edenvale Hospitals are not coping with the overcrowding.
I will continue to put pressure on the department to reopen the Kempton Park Hospital. We will not sit and leave this much-needed facility like this hospital at the hands of criminals and opportunists.