DA raises concern over cancer patient treatment after Charlotte Maxeke Hospital fire

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Smoke from the fire at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Smoke from the fire at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
Gauteng Health
  • Alternative arrangements are needed for Charlotte Maxeke Hospital cancer patients, the DA says.
  • This as the Radiation Oncology department was affected by a fire at the facility.
  • The hospital has been temporarily closed due to damage caused by the fire.

Alternative arrangements for cancer patients must be made urgently, as the Radiation Oncology Department will remain closed when operations resume at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital following a fire, the DA has said. 

The blaze, which started on Friday 16 April, significantly damaged parts of the hospital building. The next day, the Gauteng government decided to temporarily close the hospital.

The fire broke out at the Special Dispensary Stores and spread to various sections of the parking lot multi-storey structure, causing significant damage to the building. A preliminary assessment of the building revealed that the fire had affected Block 3 and 4 of the hospital. The two blocks are expected to remain closed until engineers complete a detailed structural assessment.

Patients will return to the other areas of the hospital over the coming weekend, and the hospital will resume services from Monday, the provincial government announced in a statement.

"The safety of staff and patients as well as the quality of care provided to every patient remain the most important priorities of the Gauteng Provincial Government and the hospital management as we prepare for the resumption of services," the statement said.

More than 800 patients were transferred to 17 health facilities in the province following the fire.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are still underway.

READ | SA's first Covid-19 lung transplant patient finally leaves hospital - with her baby

DA MP Jack Bloom said alternative arrangements for cancer patients needed to be made, as the Radiation Oncology Department was in the damaged section of the building and may not reopen for months.

"Steve Biko Hospital in Tshwane is the only other hospital that does radiation treatment, but they are already stretched with patients. Lives will be put at risk if alternative arrangements are not made urgently for hundreds of cancer patients," he said.

Bloom has called on the Gauteng health department to expand capacity by organising cancer radiation treatment in the evenings and over weekends, as well as by paying private hospitals to treat public patients for cancer.

In response to these concerns, as well as comment on what alternative arrangement were being made, Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana said on Tuesday: "Radiation Oncology services are offered at Steve Biko."

Kwara was pressed by News24 to answer whether Charlotte Maxeke's oncology services have indeed been impacted, but she would only say: "The hospital (Charlotte Maxeke) is closed and patients are receiving the service at Steve Biko [hospital]."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
The EFF has voted with the DA to ensure they now govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni. Was this:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
A brilliant strategic move by the DA not to make formal coalition agreements
24% - 1850 votes
A brilliant strategic move by the EFF to force the DA to negotiate with them
16% - 1243 votes
A recipe for disaster and five more years of unstable local government
60% - 4589 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.27
-1.9%
Rand - Pound
21.71
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
18.42
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.59
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.0%
Gold
1,792.60
0.0%
Silver
23.13
0.0%
Palladium
1,751.49
0.0%
Platinum
955.50
0.0%
Brent-ruolie
72.72
-11.6%
Top 40
62,411
-2.6%
All Share
68,615
-2.8%
Resource 10
64,074
-2.5%
Industrial 25
92,909
-1.3%
Financial 15
12,995
-6.8%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE