Question NW18 to the Minister of Health

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09 March 2020 - NW18

Profile picture: Van Staden, Mr PA

Van Staden, Mr PA to ask the Minister of Health

(1)With reference to the outbreak of the Coronavirus worldwide, what is the reason for him appointing seven State hospitals (names furnished) to treat patients who might be affected by the virus in South Africa;\(2) whether private hospitals are considered to assist the Government in a moment of a severe crisis; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) has he found that the specified hospitals are best equipped to deal with a crisis situation should the virus spread to South Africa; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) (a) how fast will the specified hospitals be able to react if infected patients arrive at the hospitals and (b) how effective has he found the treatment at these hospitals to be; (5) whether he will make a statement on the matter?


(1) These hospitals were the designated hospitals for managing Ebola cases therefore they were already in a state of preparedness. Each of the said hospitals, were re-assessed to determine their current state of readiness and each of them showed that they were compliant for isolating and managing Coronavirus patients.

(2) The National Department of Health (NDoH) has always collaborated with the private sector. The official representative for the private sector is part of the national team responding to the Coronavirus outbreak. The private sector follows the NDoH guidelines and protocols. The private sector has supported the NDoH with developing training materials and sponsored video recording of training workshops for use by relevant health care professionals.

(3) All the selected hospitals are ready to receive and manage patients. Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital and Steve Biko Hospital were added to the initial list as they are also able to isolate and manage Coronavirus patients.

(4) (a) Protocols are in place to deal with patients from the time of them being suspected, through transport, to hospitalisation and isolation. Training is ongoing at the provincial level to strength management and care of possible Coronavirus infected patients.

(b) The designated hospitals are referral hospitals and offer quality care, with skilled personnel, using the best health care management practices.

(5) The Minister is willing to make a statement in the House.


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