#HospitalHealthCheck: Health MEC remains in denial about true state of Sabie Hospital

#HospitalHealthCheck: Health MEC remains in denial about true state of Sabie Hospital
by Jane Sithole, MPL – DA Mpumalanga Spokesperson on Health

Date: 27 May 2018
Release: Immediate

Mpumalanga Health MEC, Gillion Mashego has missed an opportunity to show decisive leadership and tell the people how he plans to address the challenges faced by the staff and patients at Sabie Hospital.

In his response to a Democratic Alliane (DA) statement during today’s sitting of the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature, MEC Mashego said that he was not aware of any problems at Sabie Hospital and in fact, went on to brand it as one of the best hospitals in the province.

The DA recently visited the hospital after being inundated with complaints from community members who are frustrated at the level of service at the hospital. Upon arrival, we noticed that the hospital smelt of fresh paint, even the old buildings had recently been painted but, unfortunately that’s where it ended.

All around the hospital, the grass was very long with old tractors and a mobile dentist vehicle that have not moved for many years, abandoned in the yard. Recently, millions were spent on building the new section of this hospital, but it too had visibly deteriorated due to the lack of maintenance.

Staff at the hospital complained that not a single washing machine was working which rendered the hospital’s laundry completely useless. Every day, thousands of Rands are spent on transporting 3-5 truckloads of laundry to different facilities around the province.

In the last 3 financial years R12 million was budgeted to demolish and rebuild wards at Sabie hospital due to the asbestos which poses a health risk to occupants, yet when we arrived at the hospital, we found that these wards were still in use.

Another area of concern was how the hospital disposed of its infectious waste. The room where the waste is stored, was unlocked and easily accessible to the public.

It is deeply concerning that despite some upgrades to the hospital, just two years ago, this healthcare facility has deteriorated in a way that is no longer suitable for provide effective healthcare services to the thousands who depend on it.

MEC Mashego has once again showed that despite the healthcare of Mpumalanga province being his responsibility, he does not really know what is going on and he does not grasp the severity of the situation that thousands of people who depend on the state for healthcare experience daily.

In his response, he had nothing to say about the challenges at the hospital but only committed himself to ensuring that the grass is cut.

The people of Mpumalanga desperately need a government that not only puts their health first but one that is accountable and is committed to making healthcare a priority. This can only be achieved by a DA-led government.

Media Enquiries

Jane Sithole, MPL
DA Mpumalanga Spokesperson on Health
082 854 9711

Dumisile Masuku
Provincial Communications Manager
079 873 7590