While the fourth wave of Covid-19 in South Africa is not the most severe installment of the pandemic, the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital continues to leave a considerable void in Gauteng’s health services.
The hospital caught fire in April last year, with the result that most units were forced to close. Once the oncology unit was reopened, several wards were flooded in November, which was another devastating setback for the hospital.
There is no clear indication of when the hospital will be fully operational again and what is being done to expedite the process of repairs.
The Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital is still one of the biggest hospitals in the southern hemisphere, with more than 1,000 beds and, being one of South Africa’s few facilities to offer oncology services, the impact caused by the fire last year and the subsequent flooding has been felt across the province and beyond.
In his open letter to the president, the head of internal medicine, Professor Adam Mohammed, said that these events had seen the hospital’s casualty and trauma facilities rendered un-operational. While the most essential, it is by no means the only services affected.
“Over 50/60 nurses resigned because of the terrible working conditions, especially professional nurses, ICU nurses and trauma nurses,” Mohammed said.
The hospital, which was opened in the 1970s, may not be fully operational until 2023. But in the meantime, it’s yet to be seen how the facility’s void will be filled by other healthcare facilities.