Mining hospital donated for Covid patients to become permanent facility

29 September 2020 - 07:00
Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. Acting Gauteng health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Monday the province remains committed to investing in legacy projects beyond the Covid-19 pandemic through major refurbishments and additional beds at existing hospitals.
Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto. Acting Gauteng health MEC Jacob Mamabolo said on Monday the province remains committed to investing in legacy projects beyond the Covid-19 pandemic through major refurbishments and additional beds at existing hospitals.
Image: KEVIN SUTHERLAND

The Gauteng government has assured people on Gauteng's West Rand that the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital, donated by the mining company as part of the response to Covid-19, will permanently contribute to the provision of quality health care in the area.

This follows after acting health MEC Jacob Mamabolo completed a preliminary audit of Covid-19 health structures that Gauteng remains committed to investing in legacy projects beyond the Covid-19 pandemic through major refurbishments and additional beds at existing hospitals.

“The fund will be used to provide rapid and targeted actions to support the health-care sector in efforts to flatten the curve of infections and provide humanitarian support to vulnerable households and communities,” said AngloGold Ashanti.

Mamabolo said: “AngloGold Ashanti Hospital is one such long-term investment for the Gauteng health system and the West Rand community.”

He said the facility will be a 175-bed hospital and will likely be classified as a regional hospital.

“The facility will address the dire shortage of critical care beds in the West Rand district and relieve pressure from both Leratong and Carletonville hospitals. It will form part of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital cluster focusing on general medicine and will also cater for mental health patients,” he said.

He said the addition of mental health service will also decrease the bed pressure for mental health care users in the province.

“AngloGold Ashanti Hospital forms part of an important intervention to ensure that the community of West Rand is left better off post the pandemic, as they will have access to better infrastructure going forward,” he said.

Mamabolo added that the Gauteng department of health had taken advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to strengthen hospital cluster collaborations and bed management.

The clusters are led by the four academic hospitals:

  • Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital ;
  • Steve Biko Academic Hospital;
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital; and
  • Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital.

He said the clinical governance advisory committee (CGAC) and mental health technical advisory committee (MHTAC) were providing clinical advice on the final repurposing of the hospital after the pandemic.

Last week the Mail & Guardian reported that Gauteng department of health is pumping about R500m into the hospital.

The newspaper reported that the expenditure is only the start of the project to convert a former mine hospital into a 174-bed intensive care facility.

In April, AngloGold Ashanti made available a fully equipped 270-bed West Vaal facility near Orkney in the North West and a hospital at West Wits near Carletonville, west of Johannesburg.

The West Wits facility had been closed for a number of years following restructuring of gold mining operations in the region.

AngloGold Ashanti had also pledged R20m to the Solidarity Response Fund, an independent initiative, registered as a public benefit company and supported by business, civil society and the government.

The project centres on the refurbishment of the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital in Carletonville and is part of a R2.5bn spend by the provincial department of infrastructure development to improve health-care infrastructure.

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