The Portfolio Committee on Health has welcomed the reopening of Netcare St Augustine’s and Netcare Kingsway private hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal.
The two hospitals were closed last month when four people died at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban and 47 staff members tested positive due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Kingsway Hospital in Amanzimtoti was also closed after 10 staff members tested positive for COVID-19 after exposure at the hospital was traced to a patient.
KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said that the executive management of the Department of Health has considered the discussions and reports submitted by Netcare Limited.
The Premier briefed the media on Sunday on recent developments since the start of Level4 of the national lockdown.
Zikalala said the decision to reopen the hospitals was subject to the following conditions:
- All regulations issued by the President of the country are abided by;
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is issued to all staff working at the institutions;
- A fever clinic is in place at both the institutions;
- COVID-19 training is conducted for all employees of the institutions;
- The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), National Department of Health and Provincial Department of Health are implemented and complied with;
- The Provincial Department of Health will conduct unannounced inspections.
“The department appreciates the open discussions held in trying to resolve the challenges faced by Netcare Limited during COVID-19,” Zikalala said.
Welcoming the reopening of the two hospitals, Portfolio Committee on Health Chairperson, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said he is hoping that the provincial Department of Health has satisfied itself with all the necessary precautionary steps the two hospitals needed to follow.
“We wish that the department continues with its monitoring work, not only in the private healthcare, but across the sectors of health in the province including the public healthcare to ensure that the pockets of outbreaks we see in the Western Cape Province are averted,” Dr Dhlomo said.
Dhlomo also added that the two private hospitals should do their best to curb further outbreaks.
“One is mindful that the resources that are available in the two private hospitals will be an advantage to the public healthcare sector as we manage COVID-19, access to ventilators and intensive care units will be very important,” Dhlomo said.