Covid-19: Public hospitals are coping, but private facilities under pressure – Kubayi-Ngubane

SA Hospital is feeling the brunt of the third wave of Covid-19.

Michele Labini / Getty Images

  • The acting health minister said public hospitals are dealing with Covid-19 infection.
  • She says most of the pressure is felt in private hospitals.
  • Private health care providers have warned people to abide by the regulations.

Acting Health Minister Mamoluku Kobaye Ngobani said public hospitals in Gauteng are not under pressure as the third wave of Covid-19 rages in the province.

She says the private healthcare system is crumbling under pressure.

Speaking during a press conference for the National Coronavirus Command Council on Tuesday, Kubayi-Ngubane said public hospitals in Gauteng, the epicenter of the infection, are coping.

“We are witnessing great pressures in the private sector. We can confirm that a meeting has taken place between the government and the private sector to ensure the flow of excess between the facilities,” he added.

Read | Closure: Public schools will reopen a week earlier due to early closure

She said there is now a team dedicated to monitoring hospitals that are able to accept Covid-19 patients.

Life Healthcare group said it had just over 1,400 Covid-19 cases inside the country last Monday, up from less than 200 two months ago.

“Sixty percent of admissions are in Gauteng, with 800 new cases – that’s far more than the 600 and 700 cases at the peak of wave one and two, respectively,” said Peter Wharton Hood, chief executive of the hospital group.

Read | Lockdown: Ramaphosa puts the country on alert level 4

Jacques de Plessis, managing director of Netcare Hospitals, said there is an “unprecedented demand for hospital care for patients infected with COVID-19”.

On Saturday, he said, they had to transfer two Gauteng patients to KwaZulu-Natal for medical care.

“Throughout the third wave, we have warned South Africans of the danger of spreading in Gauteng and implored them to take Covid-19 seriously and to be more vigilant than ever,” de Plessis said.

Dr Gerrit de Villiers, Chief Clinical Officer at Mediclinic South Africa, confirmed that there was strong demand for hospital beds during the current third wave, which was particularly felt in Gauteng.

Read | Insurance: You can go to prison to visit Gauteng – unless you’re there for these reasons

“We are also seeing significant increases in the demand for care in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Western Cape,” he said.

“Hospital bed capacity remains volatile and this dynamic situation is constantly monitored and addressed.”

Kubayi-Ngubane said there were no immediate plans to reopen field hospitals in Gauteng to help with infection rates.

She said Nasrak field hospital is out of service due to underutilization, and that the county cannot justify the cost.

On Friday, the Gauteng Health Ministry said it was considering reopening Nasrak field hospital, Health24 reported.

The minister said Gauteng had extra beds at Anglo Ashanti Hospital, Chris Hani Paragwanath Academic Hospital, Jubilee District Hospital and Bronkhorstspruit Hospital.

Leave a Comment