The Anglo Ashanti Hospital in the Far West Rand has been refurbished at a cost of R474 million, but there is no budget to fully staff its 175 beds for Covid-19 cases.
This information was disclosed today by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in an oral reply to my questions at a sitting of the Gauteng Legislature.
Mokgethi said that there was no approved organogram for the hospital, and the staffing depended on the availability of budget.
The hospital building was donated by AngloGold Ashanti, but the provincial government has not yet taken ownership.
There are 175 beds in the hospital, but according to Mokgethi, the staffing of only 40 ICU beds at the hospital is being prioritised.
According to the Provincial Command Council, the hospital will only be used for quarantine and isolation of Covid-19 patients during this current wave of infections.
It is no surprise that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investing possible corruption in the contracts awarded for refurbishing this hospital, which was supposed to be ready last year but was only finished recently.
It is very disappointing that so much money has been spent on this hospital which is far away from major population centres.
This is yet another example of the vast waste of money that should have been used for extra beds and staffing at existing hospitals to save lives during this terrible epidemic.
I will continue to monitor the spending on Covid-19 to ensure that all corruption and waste is exposed, and money is recovered where possible.
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