2 November 2012
A team of professionals responsible for maintenance of all equipment will now be stationed at four hospitals in South Africa’s Gauteng province, Infrastructure Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu announced in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Mahlangu said the teams – to be stationed at the Charlotte Maxeke and Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospitals in Johannesburg, and the Steve Biko Academic and Dr George Mukhari Hospitals in Pretoria – will include mechanical and electrical engineers, as well as quantity and supporting artisans.
“They will be responsible for maintaining all equipment, conducting preventative maintenance, drafting specifications and project scoping,” she said.
Progress in infrastructure and maintenance
Mahlangu did an inspection on three facilities, including the massive Chris Hani Baragwanath, which is currently undergoing infrastructure upgrades.
The inspection at Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke was followed by a visit to Zola/Jabulani Hospital in Soweto, southwest of Johannesburg, which is due to be completed early next year.
The aim of the inspection was to check the progress made regarding infrastructure and maintenance in the hospitals.
During her visit to Chris Hani Baragwanath, 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,” she said.
“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.”
Natural gas is also scheduled to be installed and used in the hospitals next year.
Monitoring of deadlines
Regarding the problem of lifts 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.
“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 under way] have been met,” she said.
She acknowledged that they have also experienced several challenges in the construction of Jabulani Hospital, with some delays related to the payment of the contractors, but said they are committed to resolving these matters.
Earlier this year, the department reached an agreement with the provincial Health Department for minor maintenance functions to be transferred to the hospitals’ chief executive officers in order to address turnaround times.
Together with the allocated budget, the CEO’s will be responsible for purchasing material and managing maintenance for minor work under R1-million.