Gauteng MEC for health blasts private hospitals for turning away patients

Gauteng MEC for Health Qedani Mahlangu has blasted private healthcare facilities for turning patients whose lives are in danger away because they cannot pay.

According to Mahlangu‚ a woman in need of emergency treatment was recently asked to put down R500‚000 before she could be attended to at a Kempton Park hospital.

 The department then collected the woman and put her on a ventilator while she waited for a bed in an intensive care unit at a public hospital to open up‚ Mahlangu said.

“Should we put money before serving a patient?

 “Something has gone wrong. We have commoditised healthcare.”

She was speaking at the launch of a public-private sector initiative that will see a state-of-the-art paediatric surgery outpatient clinic built at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto. The department hopes construction will be completed next year.

“This is not a centre that will not only benefit Gauteng citizens but the entire country‚ as the hospital gets referrals [from] across the nation‚” Mahlangu said.