The refurbishment of three psychiatric wards in Gauteng hospitals has been delayed by late payments, change of scope, contractor problems, delays in moving patients and labour issues.
This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in an oral reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature today.
According to Masuku, the psychiatric wards at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital were due to be completed on 12 November last year, but are now scheduled for completion on 31 October this year.
At Jubilee Hospital, the psychiatric ward should have been completed on 31 March this year, and the new date for completion was 5 July 2019.
It is very disappointing that all these wards have been delayed because of poor project management, and the new completion dates may not be met as well.e
Manwhile, mental health patients suffer in poor facilities and there is a shortage of beds for them.
A much higher priority should have been given to mental health patients following the Life Esidimeni tragedy.
I hope that building management is drastically improved so that health facility projects are completed on time and within budget, which hardly ever happens at present.