The FF Plus has requested the Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, to submit a comprehensive report to the Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Health detailing the causes of the fire that broke out at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital on Friday afternoon, 16 April 2021, before the Hospital re-opens.
She must also indicate which steps will be taken to prevent similar disasters from occurring at provincial hospitals in the province in the future.
The damage the fire caused to the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital could possibly have been less if smoke detectors, water spray systems and fire hydrant connections had been properly maintained.
Firefighters struggled for more than 12 hours to contain the fire that started in the storage room of one of the pharmacies.
The Johannesburg Fire Department had to send water trucks to the Hospital because numerous fire hydrants at the Hospital were not working.
According to reports, the Hospital’s smoke detectors and water spray systems also did not function as they should.
The Hospital management’s negligence and failure to properly maintain fire-fighting equipment not only increased the extent of the damage, but also put people’s lives at risk.
The Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, closed the 42-year-old Hospital on Sunday for a period of seven days.
The FF Plus demands that an investigation into the relevant precautionary measures and emergency plans at all other provincial hospitals in Gauteng must be conducted so as to prevent any further tragedies in the future.
In February, a fire also caused great damage to the Carletonville Hospital on the West Rand as protective medical equipment to the value of R23 million was destroyed.
People’s lives are paramount. In addition, moving sick patients to other hospitals that are already under immense pressure could have been avoided if the necessary safety measures had been in place.
The FF Plus awaits the report and will subsequently make recommendations.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Amanda de Lange on FF Plus