New hospital shows cracks after just a year

New hospital shows cracks after just a yearKwaZulu Natal Health Department is investigating patients complaints about health service delivery at Northdale Hospital. Photo: Sandile Mbili/ Health-e

A little more than a year after the Thelle Mogoerane Regional Hospital opened, cracks have already begun to show at the hospital literally as patients report cracked walls in at least one ward.

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The TAC says it has also received complaints about services at the hospital. Earlier this year, the hospital allegedly suffered a backlog in cervical cancer screenings and one man's 12-hour wait for bed before dying promoted the recent hiring of more doctors and nurses for the facility (File photo)
The TAC says it has also received complaints about services at the hospital. Earlier this year, the hospital allegedly suffered a backlog in cervical cancer screenings and one man’s 12-hour wait for bed before dying promoted the recent hiring of more doctors and nurses for the facility (File photo)

Thembisile Mazibuko recently visited her cousin at the new Vosloorus hospital about 30 km east of Johannesburg. Mazibuko said she was shocked to find cracks running up the walls of in the hospital’s ward 12.

“I am worried about the condition of the walls at the new hospital – the patients and the hospital staff are not safe,” said Mazibuko, adding that she believed that hospital should evacuate patients from the ward until the cracks were repaired. “They must remove the patients from that ward because anything can happen to them – these walls could fall at anytime.”

AIDS lobby group the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) says it has received many complaints from patients since the hospital opened in 2014. The group now wants to know who authorised the use of the ward given its condition.

“We want to know that who signed for the building to be used,” said Bongani Radebe who is a TAC provincial representative working on men’s issues.

“We are tired of the complaints from Thelle Mogoerane (patients) so as TAC we are planning to picket the hospital in coming weeks,” Radebe told Health-e News. “We want the hospital to be closed until the department of health fixes all the problems in that hospital.”

The Gauteng Department of Health declined to comment, saying that government buildings were the responsibility of the provincial department of infrastructure development.

Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development Spokesperson Mbangwa Xaba has assured the public that the cracks are purely aesthetic and that the hospital is safe.

“The cracks have nothing to do with the structure of the hospital,” Xaba said. “The building is new and as it adjusts to the soil, cracks will appear but won’t have any consequences”.

He added that the department will seal the cracks with plaster in two years’ time after which time the building should have settled. – Health-e News.

Edited versions of this story were also published on Health24 and TimesLive