Hos­pi­tal one of best in world – Zuma

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - SAKHILE NDLAZI

sakhile.ndlazi@inl.co.za PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma wanted to check him­self in at the Steve Biko Aca­demic Hos­pi­tal.

“I wanted to ask for a bed, and sleep and be checked,” Zuma jok­ingly said dur­ing his walk­a­bout at the ter­tiary health care in­sti­tu­tion.

A jolly look­ing Zuma, who was ac­com­pa­nied by Min­is­ter of Health Aaron Mot­soaledi and Gaut­eng MEC for Health Gwen Ramok­gopa, said the hos­pi­tal was one of the coun­try’s suc­cess sto­ries.

He praised the hos­pi­tal named af­ter the late lib­er­a­tion Strug­gle hero and a for­mer med­i­cal stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Natal, Steve Biko, as be­ing a bench­mark of pub­lic hospi­tals in the coun­try.

“This is one of the most ad­vanced hospi­tals, in­deed.

“I think if we could have just a few more of such (hospi­tals) our pop­u­la­tion will get first-class treat­ment,” said Zuma.

He also praised the hos­pi­tal staff, call­ing them ded­i­cated and com­mit­ted.

“If I was a jour­nal­ist, I would even ex­ag­ger­ate and say it is one of the best in the world,” said Zuma, with his sig­na­ture laugh.

The cen­tre pro­vides the best ev­i­dence-based pa­tient care and utilises the most ad­vanced tech­no­log­i­cal imag­ing equip­ment.

He also visit the on­col­ogy de­part­ment, one of the busiest ar­eas for pa­tients in the coun­try. He was wrap­ping up his walk­a­bout at the hos­pi­tal phar­macy which has an au­to­mated med­i­cal dis­pen­sary, the big­gest dis­penser of a wide range of medicines with the ca­pac­ity to dis­pense 120 pre­scrip­tions an hour.

Mot­soaledi echoed Zuma’s sen­ti­ments. stat­ing that some units in the hos­pi­tal were world-class, such as the fer­til­ity clinic.

“This is one of the few ar­eas around the whole world where peo­ple ex­tract sperm from an HIV-pos­i­tive pa­tient, clean it, re­move the viruses and im­plant it into an egg. This means HIV-pos­i­tive peo­ple can give birth to HIV-neg­a­tive ba­bies,” he said.

Mot­soaledi also boasted about the nu­clear med­i­cal unit and said pri­vate hospi­tals from as far as Cape Town re­ferred their pa­tients there.

Pa­tients and staff at the hos­pi­tal clam­oured to catch a glimpse of Zuma when he toured the fa­cil­ity.

Zuma, sur­rounded by body­guards, made his way to var­i­ous wards amid jubilation, scream­ing and singing.

DA Gaut­eng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom also praised the hos­pi­tal but had a few con­cerns.

“There are pock­ets of ex­cel­lence at this aca­demic hos­pi­tal such as the au­to­mated medicine dis­pens­ing sys­tem which is hope­fully rolled out to other hospi­tals.

“We should also be proud of skilled sur­geons of world stan­dard,” said Bloom.

Zuma should ad­dress prob­lems such as long wait­ing times for op­er­a­tions, he said.

More posts needed to be cre­ated for med­i­cal staff who worked un­der great pres­sure be­cause of the in­creased vol­ume of pa­tients.

“Ma­chin­ery keeps break­ing down and is not re­paired timeously be­cause sup­pli­ers are not paid. That is why 27 out of 28 lifts were bro­ken ear­lier this year, caus­ing a cri­sis as sick pa­tients could not get up the stairs and even op­er­a­tions had to be can­celled,” said Bloom.

He said two can­cer ra­di­a­tion ma­chines could not be used be­cause of bro­ken air-con­di­tion­ers, caus­ing de­lays in can­cer treat­ment that are life-threat­en­ing.

“Zuma should ask whether there are enough ra­dio­g­ra­phers as 10 ra­dio­g­ra­phers have left in the last year.

“He should also ask why some heart op­er­a­tions have been de­layed be­cause of a short­age of in­ten­sive care unit beds and un­paid com­pa­nies not sup­ply­ing cer­tain equip­ment,” he said.

We should also be proud of skilled sur­geons of world stan­dard

DA Gaut­eng Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom

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