Bad state of Baragwanath shocks Public Protector

By Drum Digital
06 August 2013

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has expressed shock at the conditions at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto after paying it a surprise visit

, her office said on Tuesday.

"Some wards were in a state of dilapidation, with open electric plugs and hanging live wires," spokesman Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

"Paint was peeling off the walls in some of the wards, while stains of leaking roofs could be seen in others."

There was a shortage of some equipment. Cardiac monitors needed servicing. Paediatric wards did not have enough beds, incubators, and ventilators.

Madonsela's visit to the facility on Monday was part of her ongoing national stakeholder dialogue.

"Overcrowded medical admission, paediatric and casualty wards bore testimony to the fact that the limited staff was struggling to cope with the ever increasing patient numbers," Masibi said.

He said hygiene was a serious concern at the hospital, which had 3200 beds and more than 6700 staff members.

In the medical admission wards, paint was peeling off an asbestos ceiling which, according to doctors, posed a risk to patients.

When approached about their views on the hospital's service, patients told Madonsela about a dire shortage of medical personnel, medication, and medical equipment.

-Sapa

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