Plans by the Gauteng Department of Health to demolish the old Kempton Park Hospital to build a new one are false. The Democratic Alliance (DA) said such plans including announcements of building a new hospital is a “brutal lie”.
GAUTENG HEALTH NEEDS TO GIVE TIMELINES ON KEMPTON PARK HOSPITAL
The Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko confirmed on Wednesday that the department was working on a new hospital.
Plans are underway to build a new 300-bedded Kempton Park District Hospital. This project also includes the demolition of the Kempton Park Hospital. The old hospital is now open for ghost-hunting due to stories of the building being haunted.
But this announcement by the MEC is reckless. DA Gauteng constituency head for Tembisa South Refiloe Nt’sekhe said the MEC is misleading residents of Kempton Park. This was because there is no budget and timelines yet.
“The department has several times promised to build this 300-bed new Kempton Park Hospital. However, we have never seen any commitment in the form of an official timeline or budget allocation.”Refiloe Nt’sekhe
The MEC confirmed there is no timeframe nor budget yet as the proposal for the demolition and construction of the hospitals is before the Gauteng Infrastructure Funding Agency.
PROMISE FOR A NEW HOSPITAL DATES BACK TO EIGHT YEARS AGO
But promises of a new hospital in Kempton Park are as old as eight years ago. Nt’sekhe says there have been discussions to demolish the old hospital in 2014. Back then, the demolition would cost R1.5 billion while renovating it would cost a lower R1.4 billion.
Since then, nothing has happened.
“Time has passed and there has been no action and the promises have not yet materialized. This hospital has been closed for over two decades and it is alleged that it is being used for criminal activities. Some people have taken an opportunity to use some of its sections for extramural activities,” Nt’sekhe said.
Patients of Kempton Park are instead transferred to nearby clinics and those who need hospitalization are transferred to Tembisa Hospital and Edenvale Hospital.
Nt’sekhe says Tembisa Hospital is barely surviving due to overcrowding. Thee hospital does not have the capacity to increase the number of patients, she said.
“Patients are being turned away to die at home due to a shortage of beds. The DA demands that MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko must put her words into action by outlining a specific timeline as to when will her department begin refurbishing Kempton Park Hospital and where the budget will come from,” said Nt’sekhe.