DA Says Only 8 Covid-19 Patients At R500m-Hospital

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Democratic Alliance (DA) Gauteng member of the provincial legislature Jack Bloom on Wednesday revealed that only eight critically ill Covid-19 patients were treated at the R500m Anglo Ashanti Hospital.

Bloom, who describes himself as the Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, said the anomaly came to light during a question and answer session in the provincial legislature.

Bloom said Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi made the shocking revelation in an oral reply to his question.

“Only 8 patients critically ill with Covid-19 have been treated at the Anglo Ashanti Hospital in the Far West Rand, which has cost more than R540 million to refurbish and staff,” said Bloom.

He said Mokgethi told him that 109 Covid-19 patients were at the hospital between June and October this year.

The hospital has 175 approved beds, but only 15 beds were used for the Covid-19 patients.

“All the beds were supposed to be high care or intensive care, so a mere 8 critical care patients show what a waste of money this hospital has been in saving lives during this epidemic,” said Bloom.

“The money would have been better spent on existing hospitals that are short of staff and equipment.”

Bloom said the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has uncovered evidence of massive corruption and issued a preservation order to freeze about R7 million in the bank accounts of two contractors.

“According to the SIU, the one company got a tender for R50 million which ballooned to more than R500 million. It is alleged that the other company got a contract through a phone call,” said Bloom.

“Mokgethi says that the Anglo Ashanti Hospital will be combined with the Carletonville Hospital to provide extra services in the area.

“My view is that it is a white elephant in a remote area, and further money is more productively spent elsewhere to provide desperately needed extra health services.”