The Accident and Emergency Unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital has reopened after a blaze forced the closure of the facility over a year ago.
Speaking at the reopening on Monday, Health Minister Joe Phaahle said the reopening of the unit is part of a phased-in approach to bring the hospital back to being fully operational.
He said the first group of patients have already been admitted. There are currently 15 mental health patients being treated in the unit. The majority of these patients were transferred from Helen Joseph Hospital on May 4th.
“The process of gradual transfer of patients from other facilities to this hospital has been going smoothly since the beginning of this month. Of course, this also meant even staff members, especially those who were temporarily transferred to other hospitals had to gradually return to their permanent workplace,” Phaahla said.
CT Scanner being fixed
But no ambulances or walk-in patients are allowed as yet allowed at the hospital because the hospital’s CT scanner is currently not working after it was damaged through vandalism and theft.
Phaahla said a contractor has been working on the CT scanner since last week, and the final parts arrived Monday morning.
“So at the current moment, there will be no walk-in patients into the accident and emergency, It will only be for now arranged transfer of patients who have been seen in other centres,” said Phaahla
He said that the scanner should be up and running within a week allowing the accident and emergency unit to finally start receiving ambulances.
The health minister reminded the community that even though Charlotte Maxeke experienced great trauma the hospital was and still is functional.
“But I need to also just emphasise the fact that …the picture which is painted out there, is as if this hospital is nonfunctional. The reality is that the hospital is functioning at just around 75 to 80% of capacity.” Phaahla said. – Health-e News