Broken theatre at Bheki Mlangeni hospital a symptom of a larger problem

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health
15 Aug 2022 in Press Statements

Patients are suffering due to an operating theatre that has been broken for three months at the Bheki Mlangeni Hospital in Soweto, but it’s a symptom of a far larger problem at this troubled hospital.

In October 2020 the hospital CEO Ruth Mabyana was put on precautionary suspension while facing a misconduct charge. This happened after the alleged rape of a psychiatric patient.

Previous controversies included the murder of a patient by a psychiatric patient, and a jobs-for-pay scandal.

But the investigation into these matters has dragged on and on.

According to a written reply by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature, the Open Water company has completed its investigation of the hospital but “due to internal capacity restraints is still in the process of engaging the Office of the Premier to assist with the implementation of some of the recommendations as contained in the final investigation report.”

This is an inexcusable delay which prevents the resolution of the deep management problems at this hospital.

I suspect the delay is because it threatens entrenched interests.

Poor hospital management is evident with the latest crisis over a broken operating theatre.

How can it be that an operating theatre is not fixed speedily?

This puts lives at risk when surgery is needed urgently.

The DA will continue to push for the public release of the Open Water investigation, and speedy implementation of its recommendations to fix the hospital.