Forum to address health challenges in mining communities

Friday, January 18, 2019

The North West Health Department, together with mining houses that operate hospitals in Bojanala District, have established a Health Forum to attend to healthcare challenges in mining communities.

This emerged during a meeting called by Health MEC Madoda Sambatha in Rustenburg on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by representatives from Impala, Royal Bafokeng Administration, Sibanye Still Water, the Mineral Council and Standard Bank.

“The Health Forum will work out a proper cooperation amongst ourselves to intervene in the challenges we are faced with, especially the availability of beds.

“The reality is the mines are concerned with the health of their employees and the public health system has to cater for their dependents,” said Sambatha.

The meeting was convened to discuss how mining houses can assist to ensure availability of beds to accommodate all patients.

Job Shimankane Tabane Hospital (JST) in Rustenburg is overburdened as a result of the growing population in Rustenburg due to mining related opportunities.

“We need to find a solution to relieve the pressure from JST Hospital with available beds in mining hospitals,” said the MEC.

There are three mine hospitals in Rustenburg with a total of 472 hospital beds.

Dr. Kebalepile Mokgethi, Acting Group Chief Operating Officer of Royal Bafokeng Administration, welcomed the initiative taken by Sambatha to meet with stakeholders in mining.

“We are open to working with the Department of Health to deliver healthcare services for all. Royal Bafokeng commits to building an academic hospital in Phokeng,” said Mokgethi.

Sambatha welcomed the commitment made by the Royal Bafokeng Administration.

“The commitment by Royal Bafokeng Adminstration to build an academic hospital is good news for the province.

“It is important for all mining companies to work with government to improve the health status of people of this province,” he said.  –