Charlotte Maxeke hospital to be fully operational next year

The Gauteng Department of Health and Wellness MEC Ms Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko has assured the public that all areas of the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) will be available by December 2023.

The MEC gave the assurance this week when replying to legislature questions on when the repair work at CMJAH will be completed following the 2021 fire incident.

“The repairs to the fire damaged area of Block 4 and 5 are currently underway with various work packages being executed. The completion date is estimated at December 2023. There are also smaller work packages such as repairs to columns and beams and construction of shear walls for structural stability,” stated MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko further adding that the work to build a temporary access ramp to level P3 to free up about 300 parking bays will be completed during the month of November 2022.

MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko indicated that the fire compliance work in Block 1 – 5 and the Admin block related to the non-compliance findings by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) will continue and this is expected to be completed by early 2026 given the volume of work that needs to be done. The project managers are in continuous engagements with CoJ as a critical stakeholder to ensure that any issue raised by the municipality is attended to.

Initially, the approach was to do multiple blocks at the same time, however, the decanting strategy adopted by the clinicians CMJAH is for all services to remain within the hospital instead of being scattered across other facilities. This means that the decanting will happen on a block-by- block basis with compliance work estimated to be between 6-8 months per block. This means that services will keep rotating within Charlotte while contractors work from one area to another.

MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko confirmed that the delays in expediting the remedial work was due to a number of factors which included the transferring of the project between the provincial departments (Department of Infrastructure Development and Health and Wellness Department and the National Department of Health), budgetary constraints and delayed payment of project service providers.

On conclusion of the remedial work package in Block 4 and 5, the hospital will be fully operational, and all clinical spaces will be available for use. Meanwhile, all specialities are now present at the hospital after the facility early this month (03 October) brought back both the male and female refurbished psychiatric wards with a joint capacity of 44 beds. This has allowed patients that were housed at the Helen Joseph Hospital following the fire incident to return to Charlotte.

The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital is currently operating 979 inpatient beds, which is 92% capacity compared to the pre- fire status. For outpatients, the hospital is at 75% compared to pre-fire capacity (55 000) outpatients a month. This is while 20-25% of the hospital has been handed over for infrastructure works.

“It is important to remind the public that the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital is a central, quaternary, academic hospital which takes complicated patients that cannot be seen at lower levels of care. This means the facility’s referrals are in the main from other hospitals. Members of the public are advised that the facility is not meant to see walk-in patients as these are meant to be seen at clinics, community health centres and district level hospitals.” Concluded MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko.

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