Of all the misfortune that I have had the unhappiness to shake hands with, the worst one was visiting Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in the past few weeks.

This hospital, which is said to be the third largest in the world aches for maintenance.

The smell that assaulted my misfiring and occasionally sensitive nose was not only that of the sick and the dying but also the state of disrepair of the hospital. The hospital was generally unkempt.

The less I say about the arrogant blobs, whose only reason they pass for human beings is that they can breathe and utter a string of unkind words to the sick who need help.

These blobs’ attitude stinks. They have taken the Batho Pele document and wiped their backsides with it.

From what I witnessed, these insensitive and anciently pissed off nincompoops have not bothered themselves to spare a few second to read the Batho Pele document where it talks about COURTESY!

The document says, “Don’t accept insensitive treatment. All departments must set standards for the treatment of the public and incorporate these into their Codes of Conduct, values and training programmes. Staff performance will be regularly monitored, and discourtesy will not be tolerated. The principle: You should be treated with courtesy and consideration.

You have a better chance of winning the lottery or extracting blood from a stone than receiving courteous service at Bara.

I am also convinced now, more than before, that there are people at Bara who have no clue of Section 27 of the Constitution, which guarantees everyone the right to healthcare services and obligates the government to ongoing fulfilment of this right.

Part of Section 27 reads thus:

(1) Everyone has the right to have access to:

(a) health care services, including reproductive health care;

(2) The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights.

As the current situation prevails, the health budget, which is supposed to be an enabler for making this constitutional guarantee a reality, has successfully failed to prioritise the welfare of the most vulnerable South Africans.

It is structured in a way that gives priority to the interests of the well-heeled, while ignoring the pressing needs of the poor majority.

Chris Hani-Bara, which is also an academic hospital with just about 3,000 beds and above 6,000 employees, has nobody who has the eye to see how things are falling apart because of sheer lack of understanding the importance of regular and/or preventative maintenance.

South Africa’s healthcare system is described by some as “one of the countries whose healthcare compares favourably on a global level”.

But this hospital, where I was born at, is a sickening place. If one buys the above narrative, then it means South Africa is fully competent of delivering top-notch healthcare to all its citizens.

But an unconducive environment, poor management and rampant corruption are incessantly hampering proper service.

Public-sector hospitals in Gauteng, Africa’s economic hub, especially Chris Hani-Bara Hospital, are by and large in an unhealthy condition.

Besides the bad shape of a sizeable portion being in bad shape at the hospital, I counted a substantial number of toilets that are not functional and those that in a somewhat acceptable state were dirty and did not even have toilet paper.

Baragwanath, which was built in 1941 and admitted its first patients in May 1942, has been inadequately maintained.

The derelict infrastructure of this hospital has given way to sewage leaks, lack of water, erratic provision of medical supplies and unnecessary electricity blackouts.

Even a champion village idiot knows that sieve-like plumbing gives rise to a damp environment that is a string-puller for lethal pests. Insufficient or proper air conditioning causes intolerable working conditions. Those who are knowledgeable opine that this is also detrimental to the patients’ well-being.

The good and dedicated doctors and nurses have to deal with a myriad of challenges on a daily basis.

You do not have to be a world-class clinician to know that overcrowding and infrastructural problems have a negative effect on patient care.

One doctor whispered to my curious ear that hospital obtained infections have super-bugs that can be impervious to almost any kind of known antibiotics. This is just one of numerous challenges that are a major headache to healthcare.

Even a chap who has lost his sanity to nyaope, is vividly aware that leaking sewage and poorly maintained plumbing multiply the risk of secondary, but fatal infections.

Overcrowding at the Bara pharmacy has the potential to be a spreader of Covid-19.

People have to wait for hours to get their medication. Some are even turned away and told to comeback the following day.

I asked one blob with a bus-sized ego why the pharmacy is unable to service people speedily and he gave me some incomprehensible response.

The numbskull could also not tell me why people are made to wait for hours on end for their medication and why social-distancing is not put in force.

The crack-heads at the Gauteng health department must catch a wake-up and get the hospital to function properly.

These dimwits spend time in meetings discussing drivel that has no positive impact on patient care.

There have been periods when Bara has experienced water outage that lasted for several days, resulting in surgeons cleaning theatres using bucket water, toilets could not be flushed and patients were given bottled water and were unable to bathe.

Bara, just like other hospitals has diesel generators. But this back-up has, on a number of occasions, failed kick in when there is load-shedding.

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to know that this puts patients, especially those in intensive care and operating theatres at a huge risk.

The reasons for these debacles are manifold. They range from the absence of preventative maintenance, bad administration, massive corruption, a lack of proper forward-planning, non-existence of financial management and poor governance by the Gauteng health department.

My mind goes off the rails when I try to figure out why the administration of the hospital has been made to be so complex. Why on earth does a hospital like Bara has to be manged by different government departments?

The Department of Infrastructure and Development (DID), is entrusted by the Department of Health to maintain the hospital infrastructure. This means the head honcho of the hospital has no say or powers when it comes to issues of maintenance.

Be that as it is, the DID must not wait until the facility reaches chaotic decline.

There is an important thing called preventative maintenance. This, you blundering idiots, is a methodical procedure to prevent catastrophic building deterioration.

Its purpose is to prevent and predict failures before they occur. I know it is a daunting task for you, but please make an endeavour to conduct routine inspections, maintenance and repairs on assets to ensure they remain in good condition.

I will make the dangerous assumption that one of you knows that it is better to prevent problems than reacting to them.

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