South Africa: Services Brought Back At Bheki Mlangeni Hospital

Key services at Bheki Mlangeni District Hospital in Soweto, Gauteng, have been brought back following a fire, which resulted in the closure of the facility.

Eighty-six in-patients were moved to various neighbouring healthcare facilities after a fire broke out at the hospital's administration block on Monday morning. No patients were injured during the incident.

Gauteng Health Department HOD Professor Mkhululi Lukhele said some of the hospital's key service areas including, pharmacy, Theatre 2, 3 and 4, and Surgical A and B, have been handed back to the department by the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development.

"We have notified the Department of Labour about the progress made and they support the use of these areas to effect services as soon as possible. We are also pleased to announce that the Department of Infrastructure Development's service provider is onsite and busy replacing the filters, prioritising causality and the Out Patient Department and other wards," Lukhele said on Wednesday.

Lukhele announced that the department is working on a plan to bring back the patients who were sent to other facilities. However, the majority of them have been discharged based on clinical judgement and decisions.

Lukhele said 23 patients out of 30 who were sent to Lenasia South District Hospital have already been discharged and the hospital has communicated with the families of patients who were transferred to various institutions.

A help desk has also been made available within the institution for enquiries.

The cause of fire is still unknown. Professor Lukhele said the investigation on the cause of the fire is still ongoing. He committed to continuously update stakeholders on the progress.

Although some documents were lost during the fire, Lukhele has assured that most of the documents in the hospital are saved electronically, and there are back-up files.

"We would like thank the employees, both support and the professionals, for their support and cooperation during this difficult time. This also goes out to the community for their patience while we are working around the clock to bring service back to normal," Lukhele said.

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