The DA has vented its fury over the operational status of the Nasrec field hospital in Gauteng. Initially set up to deal with a wave of COVID-19 patients, the facility ended up being wholly under-used. For many, this would seem like a relief. But opposition politicians claim that it’s a front for corruption.
The true cost of the Nasrec field hospital
Figures produced by the Blues in Gauteng estimate that the cost of running the Nasrec field hospital equates to a whopping R500 000 per patient. Here’s a breakdown of the cash involved:
- Only 700 patients have been admitted to the Nasrec field hospital, which amounts to a cost of about R500 000 per patient. The facility has cost about R350 million in total.
- The hospital was commissioned on 15 June this year and has so far admitted 604 patients for quarantine and isolation.
- A further 96 patients have been submitted for intermediate care – including the use of oxygen.
- The total bed capacity at Nasrec is 1 500, but there were only 25 patients as of 28 August 2020.
‘Fire Bandile Masuku over field hospital fiasco’ – DA MPL
Jack Bloom is the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health. He says that there is ‘probable corruption’ involved in the Nasrec project, designating it a waste of money. Bandile Masuku, head of the health department in the province, is currently serving a suspension for alleged PPE tender fraud. But for Bloom, this punishment doesn’t go far enough.
“This is a colossal waste of money caused by poor judgement and probable corruption as connected people benefited from large contracts. The quarantine patients could easily have been accommodated at hotels, and private hospitals could have been paid to treat the 96 patients who required intermediate care.”
“Meanwhile, doctors at one stage had to appeal for oxygen to be donated to assist patients at Nasrec. The runaway costs of the facility are yet another reason why suspended Health MEC Bandile Masuku should be fired in addition to his failure to prevent the massive corruption in the PPE contracts.”
DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health Jack Bloom
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