A new psychiatric ward at the Helen Joseph Hospital will be ready for occupation in August this year, but was delayed by more than a year because of late payments to the contractor.
This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
There are currently 28 useable beds in two wards at the hospital for about 800 patients a year.
The renovations at the one ward will be complete at the end of July, and renovations will then commence on the second ward. Both wards will have 20 beds, increasing the total capacity for psychiatric patients to 40 beds.
According to Mahlangu, the renovations started in November 2014, but “during 2015 there were some delays in the payment of the contractor for the completed sections… However, all payments have been made to date and new sub-contractors have been appointed and are on-site”.
I welcome the extra beds for psychiatric patients at the hospital, but it is disappointing that yet again an important project is delayed because of late payments to a contractor.
Building projects by the Gauteng Health Department are rarely completed on time and within budget, which causes unnecessary stress to staff and patients.
The department’s financial and project management skills need to improve dramatically.
Source: Democratic Alliance