Mahikeng hospital infrastructure shortages must be probed

Issued by Michele Clarke MP – DA Shadow Minister of Health
30 May 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Michele Clarke, MP

The DA will conduct oversight to the Mahikeng Provincial Hospital (MPH) once the incubators and cribs sourced from other health facilities in the North West have been installed. This after it was revealed that nine babies were placed in cardboard boxes over the weekend as the MPH has a shortage of cribs and incubators.

We will also submit written parliamentary questions (PQs) to ascertain how long the problem at the hospital has persisted, why there wasn’t earlier intervention, the effect on other health facilities that had to loan their medical equipment to the MPH, as well as the continued consequence management against the MPH neonatal nursing manager and CEO.

It is shocking that a provincial hospital does not have the necessary equipment, especially given the fact that a recent PQ ( revealed that 10 300 children aged 0 to 5 years died in public hospitals in North West over the past decade. And while the Minister for Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, failed to give a provincial breakdown for the reasons per each province, 9 491 children died from diarrhoea and 12 582 from moderate and severe acute malnutrition nationally.

Unfortunately the situation in North West is not unique. Public health facilities across the country are suffering from mismanagement, shortage of equipment and staff, and dangerous infrastructure. All serious concerns that the ANC governments (provincial and national) have been unable to solve for almost three decades, and which will be aggravated under the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.