Zola-Jabulani District Hospital opens its doors

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Soweto - The newly opened Zola-Jabulani District Hospital in Soweto, which people have been eagerly awaiting, will alleviate the pressure on Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, says Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

Speaking at the official opening of the hospital on Wednesday, the minister said the hospital will bring relief to the people of Soweto.

Addressing the issue of bed space at Bara, Minister Motsoaledi said the hospital had 2 888 beds, which is above the World Health Organisation's recommendation. He said a hospital with over 1 200 beds was difficult to manage.

He said the country's population was growing at a rapid rate, and that impacted on health care facilities. "The solution is to build more hospitals, especially in Soweto," he said on Wednesday.

In his opinion, two more hospitals are needed in Soweto.

“This is just the beginning. This hospital has 300 beds. We want to see a 300-bed relief from Bara,” said the minister, who was speaking at a community meeting, following a tour of the three-storey facility, which opened its doors a few days ago.

The R730 million hospital was constructed to alleviate pressure on the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and improve access to health services.

The minister expects both hospitals to share staff

Referring to the Health Standard Compliance Office, Minister Motsoaledi said inspectors would visit the new hospital to check issues like infection control, the attitude of staff towards patients, cleanliness and waiting times for patients.     

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane apologised to the community for the long time it took to open the hospital.

“When we came into office in 2009, we committed ourselves to give Soweto the best.”

Premier Mokonyane urged the community to look after the infrastructure and not destroy it while protesting. “Let's treasure this place,” she said.

The hospital places an importance on job creation, such as linen being sown by local cooperatives.

The hospital will provide care in maternity, post natal, gynaecology, obstetrics, radiology and outpatient departments. Pharmaceutical services and an accident and emergency service will also be available.

The hospital has three theatres for minor operations such as caesarean sections and appendectomies.

Additionally, the hospital has spent R49.7 million on medical equipment.

The hospital will service the northern and western communities of Soweto from Dobsonville, Emdeni, Meadowlands, Moletsane, Mofolo, Zola and Jabulani, among others.

District hospitals serve three roles, namely: to provide support to health workers in clinics, provide first level hospital care for the district and be the place of referral from clinics or community health centres.

To date, 921 professionals have been appointed including 26 doctors, 451 nurses and 148 admin staff, among others.

Earlier on, Premier Mokonyane, Minister Motsoaledi, Gauteng Health MEC Hope Papo, Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Qedani Mahlangu as well as Health Deputy Minister Gwen Ramokgopa toured the hospital after which a plaque was unveiled. - SAnews.gov.za

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