Bara makes progress on fixing infrastructure

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Johannesburg – Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane says she is pleased with the progress made at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in terms of turning the tide on poor infrastructure.

The premier, along with the MECs of Health Hope Papo and Infrastructure Development Qedani Mahlangu, visited the hospital on Wednesday to check on the progress made in delivering on the commitments made during her State of the Province Address in 2012.

Improving infrastructure and service delivery at two central hospitals (including Bara) through a public-private partnership featured high on Mokonyane’s agenda. Wednesday’s visit was the moment of truth for the premier.

“The area of maintenance is quite an important investment ... This is part of turning around our Health Department, and infrastructure is quite key,” Mokonyane said.

A year ago, the ICU ward at Bara was grim, with the infrastructure in desperate need of an upgrade and staff morale affected by the dire situation. Yet, patients still had to be attended to.

Today, a different picture is starting to emerge, thanks to the intervention of the provincial Department of Infrastructure Development.  New capacity has been created on-site, with maintenance personnel, including engineers, being stationed at the hospital.

They have been put in charge of running infrastructure programmes in the hospital.

This has led to the refurbishment of the ICU within a five-month period. Conditions in the 36-bed ward are now conducive for proper medical care.

Hospital management and health workers are now operating in a good environment, with the families of patients being at ease with their loved ones staying at the hospital.

Mokonyane visited the ICU and women’s wards, which have been refurbished in a period of two months. She also inspected the new chillers and generators.

The province has invested more than R24 million for the supply and acquisition of generators and chillers. The new lifts under construction will be fully maintained by the team.

A satisfied Mokonyane said now that they have begun dealing with infrastructure matters in earnest, they now had to make sure there was efficiency in terms of provision of healthcare services for patients, hospital staff and management.

She said professionals had been brought into the Health Department and many of them were now based in institutions such as Bara.

“We’ve got new CEOs that have been appointed. However, we have many capable men and women who have always been at Chris Hani Baragwanath and in many of our health facilities…  They’ve been part of finding solutions to the challenges. Quality healthcare can be delivered in this province,” said Mokonyane.

She said given that Gauteng was the economic hub of the country, the province had to be equipped to deal with the influx of people from other provinces and around the world.

“Bara is beginning to do that in a more appropriate manner, and a better Gauteng is in the making. We can do better,” Mokonyane said. –