Gauteng Health has contracts for medical equipment maintenance
By Nonhlanhla Ndlovu
South Africa - Pretoria - 24 May 2023 - Gauteng MEC for Health, Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko during the unveiling of a newly renovated paediatric ward at Steve Biko Academic Hospital.Picture: Thobile Mathonsi
Published 2h ago
By Nonhlanhla Ndlovu
| Published 2h ago
Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) said it has in place maintenance contracts for the upkeep of medical equipment and machinery in an effort to lessen service interruptions at facilities.
This was noted by Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko, the Gauteng MEC for Health and Wellness, in answer to a question asked in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
Nkomo-Ralehoko stated that medical equipment maintenance, which includes imaging equipment such as X-rays and other life-sustaining equipment such as anaesthetic machines and ventilators, is continuous to guarantee that hospitals continue to provide consistent services.
"It is critical that equipment and machinery at facilities are kept operational to minimise delays in the provision of life-saving medical interventions, and we have maintenance and clinical engineering sections to do in-house maintenance in some of our facilities," she said.
Zooming into the Steve Biko Academic Hospital (SBAH), which was the subject of the investigation, Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated that the facility currently has three pieces of broken medical equipment, including an MRI machine, a cath lab, and a single-head gamma camera.
"The MRI has been broken since February 2023 due to theft of the earth cable, affecting patient care because patients cannot be scanned on-site; however, the SBAH refers and transports patients in need of this critical service to Kalafong Hospital to assist while processes to replace the machine are under way," she said.
Nkomo-Ralehoko further stated that the cath lab has not been completely operational since March 2023 owing to wear and tear; this machine is a biplane unit, which means that one of the tubes' chillers needs to be replaced.
"The semi-functionality of the machinery has had little impact on patient care, and the supply chain process to replace the chiller is well under way.
"The SBAH has issued a purchase order to a service provider to repair the damaged single-head gamma camera that has been out of service for some time," she said.
The MEC pointed out that while equipment breakdowns are to be expected when running a large tertiary institution like Steve Biko Hospital, what is important is that there is a quicker turnaround time when it comes to managing those breakdowns in order to lessen the impact on patient care.