Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma was so pleased with what he witnessed at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on Friday that he mentioned his happiness four times, asked for a bed, and reminded us that nuclear is “the winner”.
While conducting an oversight visit on Friday morning, Zuma said the hospital was a success story and the best medical facility he had come across this year.
“So, we are very happy. In fact, I can tell you that I wanted to ask for a bed and sleep, and to be checked,” he said.
Zuma, who was accompanied by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, also interrupted the minister as he spoke about the hospital’s nuclear medicine programme.
“The nuclear medicine unit, which we have just visited…” Motsoaledi began. “The nuclear, remember the nuclear,” Zuma interrupted.
Motsoaledi continued to say that private hospitals all over the country referred patients to Steve Biko Academic Hospital because of their nuclear medicine unit.
The minister said that the nuclear isotopes used at the hospital were created in South Africa, and exported to more than 60 other countries.
Again Zuma interjected: “Nuclear again, nuclear, the winner.”
‘It’s something we need to boast about’
Zuma said the quality of the treatment, and the manner in which it was administered, made the hospital first class. If the country could have a few more hospitals like Steve Biko Academic Hospital, then South Africans would all get first class treatment, he added.
“This is one of the success stories of the country as a public hospital,” said Zuma.
“I must say, this is one of the best things I have come across this year in terms of the medical facilities that we have in the country.”
“I am very happy and I think the department has done very well on behalf of the country, and I am told patients come from all corners of the country to here.”
He added that the hospital was a life saver and treated very serious diseases.
“It’s something we need to boast about, to say we have succeeded. We have very sharp scientists who are dealing with very complicated kind of diagnoses and treatments.”
Motsoaledi said the hospital’s fertility clinic was among a select few in the world that were able to take sperm from an HIV-positive patient, remove the virus, and implant it in an egg, allowing HIV-positive people to give birth to HIV-negative babies.
With such success, South American countries had contacted the hospital to find out if the same technique could be used to clean the sperm and eggs of those with the Zika virus, said Motsoaledi.