By: Thando Kubheka
VOSLOORUS – A pregnant woman has told Eyewitness News how she was trapped inside a toilet at the Thelle Mogoerane Hospital in Vosloorus for more than an hour while she was in labour.
Yoliswa Jiyane was transferred to the facility from a local clinic due to complications with her pregnancy.
Jiyane’s incident is one of many highlighting the poor state of health facilities that the government is hoping to turn around.
In Gauteng, many hospitals and clinics are failing to comply with safety audits further hampering their operations.
In the last financial year, they received notices of either noncompliance, improved compliance and fire contraventions.
What Jiyane had hoped would be a memorable moment for her and her new-born baby turned out to be a nightmare.
Jiyane recalled the shocking conditions under which she gave birth in an overcrowded maternity ward at the hospital in August.
Her ordeal started hours earlier when she found herself locked inside a toilet and the door had to be broken down.
“I don’t think there is someone who does maintenance at the hospital because they had to find someone to open for me and that person didn’t know what to do.”
Jiyane also explained how, straight after giving birth, she and her baby were wheeled out of the labour room on a stretcher.
They waited in a cold hallway for hours before a spot was found for them in a recovery ward.
“After giving birth, we rested for about 20 minutes and then we were taken out and put in a passage for more than three hours while they were preparing a place for us to sleep.”
It was at this hospital that seven babies contracted a bacterial infection in the neonatal ward. Two of them died, prompting calls for the CEO’s axing.
MEC MASUKU PROMISES TO RESTORE FAITH IN PUBLIC HEALTHCARE
Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku said a plan had been put together to ensure all hospitals in the province complied with occupational health and safety standards.
Masuku is on a mission to restore faith in the public healthcare system and with over R1 billion set aside, much of the focus will be placed on refurbishments and security upgrades at hospitals.
Masuku is only a few months into his new job and he’s under no illusion about what he’s inherited.
Most hospitals in Gauteng continue to face challenges including safety risks, which have been exacerbated by aging infrastructure and poor maintenance.
These problems, which have been going on for years, are filtering down, affecting patient care and how health practitioners carry out their duties.
Masuku said plans were under way to urgently address issues such as these across the province.
“OHS compliance is going to be done for all our institutions. We are going to do renovations for all our institutions, we are going to upgrade all our institutions.”
The MEC said he would be working with the Infrastructure Development Department to make sure that all hospitals complied with safety standards by the end of next year.