Special Teams to Deal with Maintenance of Gauteng Hospitals

Johannesburg - A team of professionals will now be stationed at four Gauteng hospitals, where they will be responsible for maintenance of all equipment, Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development, Qedani Mahlangu announced on Wednesday.

Mahlangu said the team to be stationed at Charlotte Maxeke, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic, Steve Biko Academic and Dr George Mukhari Hospitals, will include mechanical and electrical engineers, quantity and supporting artisans.

"They will be responsible for maintaining all equipment, conducting preventative maintenance, drafting specifications and project scoping," Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu did an inspection on three facilities, including the massive Chris Hani Baragwanath, which is currently undergoing infrastructure upgrades.

The aim of the inspection was to check the progress made regarding infrastructure and maintenance in the hospitals.

The inspection at Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke was followed by a visit to Zola/Jabulani Hospital, which is due to be completed early next year.

Mahlangu said she was comfortable with the progress regarding maintenance at Gauteng hospitals and assured that everything would be fixed by next year.

During her visit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Mahlangu checked the progress in the building of a new ICU ward, chillers, boilers, lifts and generators.

"I'm comfortable. It's all systems go, especially at the ICU. Doctors resting rooms have been improved and patients would be moved to a new ICU ward on 15 November 2012.

"Out of four boilers, two are working and sufficient to deliver services, the other two, which are currently not working will be fixed by the end of next week," Mahlangu said.

She said she was also happy with the improvement of boilers, where four of them were functional and two being conditioned, adding that next year they will install natural gas in the hospitals, a new project, where they will do the entire boilers.

Regarding the problem of lifts including 14, which were not working at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital, Mahlangu explained that the problem was due to the shortage of manufacturers but promised to meet with them to find a solution on what to be done to fix the ones, which were not working.

"I'm pleased we are doing the work and confident that the timelines are there. I will monitor if the deadlines [for repairs and new buildings underway] have been met," she said, adding that she will speak with the provincial Health Department to improve the quality of linen to ensure that the machines last.

She however, acknowledged that they have experienced several challenges in the construction of Jabulani Hospital with some delays related to the payment of the contractors but assured that they are committed to resolving these matters.

Earlier this year, the department reached an agreement with Provincial Health Department for minor maintenance functions to be transferred to the hospital CEO's, together with the allocated budget, the CEO's will be responsible for purchasing material and managing maintenance for minor work less than R1 million.

This approach was adopted to address the turnaround times for minor maintenance at provincial hospitals.

Gabi Khumalo
- SAnews.gov.za