Patients continue to suffer as the cancer unit at the fire-damaged Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) failed to reopen this week as promised by the Gauteng provincial government.
This is yet another blow to cancer patients, and uncertainty remains about when other sections of the hospital will reopen.
It’s a desperate situation which has promoted doctors to launch a petition to urgently reopen the hospital as they say that the healthcare system is at breaking point.
Two-thirds of CMJH patients are not showing up for treatment as alternative arrangements are hopelessly inadequate.
Other hospitals cannot cope with the extra numbers of CMJH patients, especially the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals which have been hit by water shortages.
All this is happening as hospitals are filling up with Covid-19 patients as a third wave of infections hits the province.
Lives will be lost if the specialist ICU beds for Covid-19 cases are not back in operation very soon.
It is still not entirely clear what is the obstacle to opening sections of the hospital that have already been determined as structurally safe.
Premier David Makhura’s excuses and false promises are not convincing.
Using the expertise of private organisations like the Gift of the Givers is surely the way forward to fix the crisis at CMJH so that it can speedily readmit patients.
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