Empty promises – still no improvement at Boitumelo Regional Hospital

Issued by Mariette Pittaway – DA Health Spokesperson in the Free State Legislature
16 Apr 2024 in Press Statements

Note to Editors: Please find attached English and Afrikaans soundbites by Mariette Pittaway MPL and Sesotho soundbite by Jafta Mokoena MPL as well as images here, here, here and here

The Democratic Alliance (DA) conducted another oversight visit to the Boitumelo Regional Hospital in Kroonstad to assess the progress of the renovations to the operating theatres and ICU unit

During a previous oversight visit by the DA, a construction company was on-site, and the DA was informed that the main operating theatres will be fully operational and ready for use by 22 September 2023.

The DA and members of the Social Services Committee Cluster, which includes the Department of Health, accompanied the Committee on an oversight to ascertain the progress of this contract in November 2023.  The committee reported back that a new contractor was appointed and that the new Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will be ready to be in operation by December 2023.

However, on another follow-up oversight visit by the DA with Chris Dalton, DA Councillor in Moqhaka, there was no sign of the “newly appointed” contractor on the hospital premises.  The DA was informed that no construction has been taking place since December 2023.

The new ICU is still closed off with “under construction” and “construction in progress” signs, but no contractor in site. Only two operating theatres of the primary theatre complex, consisting of five operating rooms, are in use.  The Maternity Ward Theatre, which was also utilised in emergencies, is now also not in use due to a broken air-conditioner.

The “beware of collapsing ceilings” signs are still up, signs of ceilings collapses visible and according to information, the serious water leaks in the theater complex is still a big issue. In the passages of the hospital, evidence of the water leaks are visible. The elevators are also closed off.

The DA will submit questions to the MEC of Health, Ms Leeto, on the absence of the contractor and halting of construction.  The DA will also continue to conduct oversight on the progress of this contract.

To improve our healthcare system we must vote for a government that guarantee the maintenance of our infrastructure. A DA-led government would accomplish this by ensuring that health facilities operate independently and are properly supervised.