Pretoria — The maternity ward at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital is to get a much needed boost, with plans to extend it and to build an additional unit.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane announced the improvements to the maternity ward during a visit to the hospital in Soweto on Wednesday.
"They are treating no less than 90 patients, [which are] mothers-to-be, per day. We do agree that there is a need for an extension...The hospital board is going to work together with health management here to ensure there is an extension and the opening of an additional unit that is going to increase the number of beds for our maternity ward," she said.
Mokonyane visited the hospital's pharmacy on its busiest day - Wednesday - and noted the need for the hospital to plan differently to deal with its busier days so that people do not queue for hours to get medication.
Chris Hani Baragwanath was unique in that it did not only cater for patients in the immediate vicinity, but for those from other provinces as well. The premier said busloads of patients were referred to the hospital from other provinces, including North West and Free State.
One of the issues at the hospital that needed to be addressed was that of capacity, particularly when it came to midwives, pharmacists and professional nurses.
Mokonyane said that work was being done with the national Department of Health to look into capacity that can be sourced from outside the country.
She also highlighted the need for the hospital's leadership to be given the necessary resources and backing.
"We need to give support to those leading the hospital. We must provide the necessary resources, we must delegate authority to the leadership of the hospital so that they can take decisions, provide resource and recruit to have the necessary capacity," Mokonyane said.
The premier said Gauteng's health care system experienced huge demand and there were high expectations from patients.
"There's a lot of commitment from men and women ... in this service. What we all need is to make sure we provide the adequate resources and ensure that those resources are utilised effectively," she added.
Earlier in the day, the premier also stopped over at the Kliptown Clinic in Soweto and dropped in on some residents at their homes.