Patients At State Hospital Only Had Roll, Hard-Boiled Egg For Supper

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Hospitalised patients at public hospitals – including Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital – are going without any milk, bread, and fruits amid a shortage of food.

On Saturday, for their lunch patients at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital were reportedly given a roll with a margarine tub and a packet of soup with no hot water.

“They have not been able to get dairy products, meat, fruits, and vegetables, but are able to get bread,” revealed Jack Bloom the Democratic Alliance Gauteng Shadow Health MEC.

The food problems at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital were highlighted last week.

On Friday, Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi, who was at the giant 3 200-bed Soweto hospital, admitted there had been food problems saying, “We had issues around bread supply.”

She, however, said: “There has been food at the hospital … people don’t get worried.”  

Bloom said other Gauteng state hospitals were also struggling to feed patients owing to expired supplier contracts, outstanding payments to suppliers, corruption, and poor financial management.

“The situation at Heidelberg Hospital is so bad that they have taken food from other hospitals,” said Bloom.

He said that several other state hospitals have also had bread supply problems including, Far East Rand Hospital, Bertha Gxowa Hospital, Odi Hospital, Pretoria West Hospital, and Helen Joseph Hospital.

Bloom said the Gauteng health department owes R3.1bn to 42 519 suppliers.

“Kopanong Hospital in Vereeniging cannot get fresh milk, so they are using powdered milk instead,” said Bloom.

He said meals for patients at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) have deteriorated.

Bloom said on Saturday patients had “a roll and a hard-boiled egg for supper”.

He added: “It is not clear why the CMJH meals are so poor, without any meat, chicken, or fish.

“Patients need nutritionally balanced meals, instead of random food scrounged together by an uncaring and incompetent management.”