Following patient complaints, the Gauteng Department of Health has said Charlotte Maxeke Hospital maintenance and cleaning teams are redoubling efforts to improve conditions.
“Management is aware of the public toilets that are broken,” said Gauteng Department of Health Spokesperson Steve Mabona, who added that some toilets were scheduled to be replaced last week. Cleaning units will also be checking bathrooms every two hours and the hospital has appointed a new pest controller, he told OurHealth.
Former Charlotte Maxeke Hospital nurse Colleen King said she was recently horrified by conditions at the hospital after her husband was admitted. According to King, she found many of the hospital’s toilets were dirty – especially those in the hospital’s out patient department. Some did not have working lights and many did not have toilet paper, which led King to question whether they had been recently cleaned.
Conditions in her husband’s ward were not much better, said King, whose complaints to Democratic Alliance Gauteng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom late last week sparked several patients to come forward with their stories.
“I opened the shelf on my husband’s bed and there were hundreds of cockroaches in there,” she added. “I was so shocked.”
Ellen Levy of Victory Park in Johannesburg added that she complained about cockroaches at the hospital to staff earlier this year. She alleged that staff met her concerns with bad attitudes.
“High standards of cleanliness are non-negotiable in a hospital where infection risk needs to be minimised,” she told OurHealth.
In a subsequent statement, Bloom noted falling standards at the more than 1000-bed hospital.
“Conditions at this leading hospital are declining, as shown by the latest National Health Department survey where it scored only 68 percent on six core standards, including cleanliness – down from 70 percent previously,” Bloom said.
Take a tour of Charlotte Maxeke Hospital’s loos
Photos courtesy of Jack Bloom
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