Nu­clear unit is a win­ner, says Zuma on Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal tour

Saturday Star - - NEWS - JONISAYI MAROMO

PRESIDENT Ja­cob Zuma said he was deeply im­pressed af­ter tour­ing the Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal in Pre­to­ria, in­clud­ing the hospi­tal’s nu­clear medicine cen­tre, with Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi yes­ter­day.

“The nu­clear medicine unit which we have just vis­ited… that even pri­vate hos­pi­tals from as far as Cape Town, Dur­ban, re­fer their pa­tients here be­cause the head of this unit has spe­cial skills which he went to learn in Europe.

There is no other spe­cial­ist in the whole coun­try who has such a skill and that is why they re­fer all their pa­tients here,” said Mot­soaledi.

As the min­is­ter con­tin­ued ex­plain­ing, Zuma in­ter­jected: “Nu­clear. Re­mem­ber the nu­clear”. Af­ter a burst of laugh­ter, Mot­soaledi went on: “The positrons which are used in that unit are pro­duced here in Pelind­aba (South Africa’s main nu­clear re­search cen­tre) and they are ex­ported to 60 other coun­tries,” said Mot­soaledi.

Zuma re­marked “Nu­clear again. Nu­clear is the win­ner”, laugh­ing.

The president said dur­ing his visit he had been greatly im­pressed by the Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal.

“I met com­mit­ted peo­ple who are work­ing here at all dif­fer­ent lev­els. I vis­ited pa­tients as well. I must say this is one of the best things that I have come across this year in terms of the med­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties we have in the coun­try.

“I’m very happy. I think the de- part­ment has done very well on be­half of the coun­try.

“I’m told pa­tients come from all cor­ners of the coun­try, and from south­ern Africa. This hospi­tal is the life-saver of our peo­ple.

“It treats very se­ri­ous kind of dis­eases,” said Zuma.

The president and his del­e­ga­tion were taken on a tour of one of South Africa’s best per­form­ing pub­lic hos­pi­tals to mon­i­tor the de­liv­ery of health­care ser­vices as part of the Pres­i­den­tial Siyahlola Mon­i­tor­ing Pro­gramme. Hospi­tal CEO Dr Mathabo Mathe­bula, and Gaut­eng MEC for Health Dr Gwen Ramok­gopa were also part of the tour.

There was much ex­cite­ment in the hospi­tal as pa­tients and the pub­lic jos­tled to get a glimpse of Zuma.

Many took pho­to­graphs of the president.

The ma­jor hospi­tal, which is named af­ter the late lib­er­a­tion Strug­gle hero and a former med­i­cal stu­dent at the Univer­sity of Natal Steve Bantu Biko, is a ter­tiary health­care in­sti­tu­tion, rendering spe­cialised ser­vices to med­i­cally re­ferred pa­tients.

The hospi­tal was de­clared the best well-man­aged pub­lic hospi­tal in the coun­try by the Of­fice of Health Stan­dards Com­pli­ance which is the watch­dog of the stan­dard of health in the coun­try. – ANA

South African President Ja­cob Zuma led a team of se­nior health of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Health Min­is­ter Aaron Mot­soaledi and Gaut­eng MEC for Health Gwen Ramok­gopa on on a tour of the Steve Biko Aca­demic Hospi­tal in Pre­to­ria.

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