healthcareTimesLIVE reports that three years after the official opening of the 200-bed Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Johannesburg, concern has been raised that the facility is not operating at capacity.  

This was revealed in response to questions about the hospital submitted by Jack Bloom, Democratic Alliance (DA) health spokesperson in the Gauteng provincial legislature, to Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku.  A total of 1,625 patients were treated in the six months from April to September last year.  The last two general wards with 58 beds were due to open in January this year, but the 42-bed oncology unit will only open in April this year.  Bloom reported that were 62 vacant posts out of a total staff complement of 401 employees, with difficulties experienced in recruiting paediatric trained nurses and sub-specialists because of a countrywide shortage in those fields.  The hospital is referral-only, and has seen 1,469 patients who were referred from Gauteng state hospitals in the six months, mostly from the Chris Hani Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg hospitals.  "I am concerned this hospital is still under-utilised despite the vast need and overcrowding in neonatal facilities in state hospitals," Bloom said.


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