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Gauteng Hospitals Buckling Under Pressure

hospital patient

Gauteng is currently leading with the most Covid-19 cases in the country. To make matters worse, hospitals in the province are facing shortages. 

On Sunday, the National Health Department recorded 13 155 new infections, with 8 640 infections being recorded in Gauteng alone.

Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said the department will be employing additional staff to help hospitals cope with the increasing numbers. 

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will also be deploying additional staff to help healthcare workers at government hospitals. 

“Despite the health system in Gauteng operating under increased load due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, the province is still able to cope with the pressure at this stage,” said Mokgethi on Sunday.

“We have dedicated COVID-19 functional beds across the province supported by a live electronic COVID-19 bed management dashboard, which we use to monitor the utilisation of beds across the province.

“There is also collaborative work led by other government agencies to improve law enforcement in various settings to ensure compliance to COVID-19 protocols in line with the national lockdown alert level 3.”

Mvuyisi Mzukwa of the South African Medical Association (SAMA) is worried that government officials have not been advised about how to handle the third wave. 

Mzukwa said hospitals in the province are facing a shortage of basic healthcare essentials needed to take care of patients. 

Some hospitals are even facing a shortage of oxygen and hospital beds, making it difficult to cope with the number of patients visiting hospitals. 

In addition to this, some medical interns have not yet been placed in hospitals. Mzukwa was not impressed by this, as mentioned that the SAMA provides health departments with the details of medical interns so they can become useful in situations where there are shortages of healthcare professionals. 

"We expected those interns and community service doctors to be absorbed into the system so that they become available and handy in a pandemic.

He has called for government to reach out to unemployed doctors and place them in hospitals as needed. 

"We expect government to work with associations and identify unemployed doctors." said Mzukwa.

 

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