Flagship hospital reduced to disfunctional nothing

The Gauteng health department has been blamed for the problems that are causing
Johannesburg’s Charlotte Maxeke hospital to grind to a standstill.
Vacancies at the hospital – which used to be a flagship institution
– and shortages of equipment such as theatre lights, linen and
bandages mean doctors cannot operate on patients.
As Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane called yesterday for a
review of the provincial health department’s funding and
procurement model , stories of patients sent home to "die" were
still streaming in.
Brian Hartung, 66, was sent home after two weeks at Charlotte
Maxeke last month despite needing open-heart surgery.
Hartung’s wife, Caralynn, said the reasons given for the surgery
delay included that there was no linen and a light was not
working in the theatre and surgeons could not operate while
there were shadows over the heart. A ventilator to help Hartung
breathe during the 11-hour operation was broken.
When he was discharged two days before his scheduled
operation, Hartung told his wife: "That’s it. I am being sent home
to die."
That was five weeks ago.
An exposé of the shocking conditions and delayed treatment at
the hospital in The Times led to a high-level meeting between the
hospital CEO, Barney Selebano, Mokonyane and Gauteng health
MEC Hope Papo on Tuesday, which led to Mokonyane calling for
a review of funding of Gauteng hospitals.
Documents in the possession of The Times show the hospital
was allocated a R1.17-billion budget for this financial year. It had
asked for more than the R2-billion it had spent last year.
At the meeting, Mokonyane asked for critical posts to be filled
and administration improved.
Health Minister Motsoaledi said he would meet Papo this week
to review decisions taken at yesterday’s meeting.
"The problems in the provincial department started long ago,"
said the minister. "When we took over in 2009, all provinces were
in the red, with accruals of billions of rand.
"The problem is a bad tender system from before 2009. I am
encouraging provinces to reverse their debt," Motsoaledi said.
"If former MEC Qedani Mahlangu had not cancelled some of the bad tenders in court, we would be
in a worse position," he said.
Hartung has some hope every time the phone rings, thinking it might be a hospital official telling him
his surgery has been rescheduled.
But he is mostly pessimistic about his chances of having the operation.
"I don’t know how much time I have left," he says, dropping his head in his hands.

Source: timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/08/16/minister-blames-province

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