n South African Medical Journal - Call for closure of Folateng private wards in public hospitals in southern Gauteng : correspondence
The facilities available in southern Gauteng for severely ill patients with diseases related to internal medicine are currently under severe pressure. Central and regional hospitals in this region have frequently had to close to admissions because their bed occupancies have exceeded 100%. This problem started in 2013 and has become progressively worse. The reasons for this crisis are not difficult to understand: (i) there is a very high burden of illness in the population served by these public hospitals, including communicable (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis) and non-communicable (cardiac, pulmonary, metabolic, oncological) diseases; (ii) Gauteng is the most populous province of South Africa, with just over 12 million people; and (iii) despite this ever-increasing burden of illness, a decision was taken some years ago to close a number of public health facilities such as Hillbrow and Kempton Park hospitals. In addition, a significant number of public healthcare beds were privatised for use by patients with medical aids - Folateng private wards. It is no wonder that our existing public hospitals are overwhelmed.
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