MEC seeks Khayelit­sha so­lu­tions

Staff are un­der ex­tremely pres­surised con­di­tions, with the hospi­tal at a 130% oc­cu­pancy rate. More staff are be­ing ap­pointed soon

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - News - NADINE FORD-KRITZINGER nadinef@afro­

THE West­ern Cape MEC for health Dr No­mafrench Mbombo yes­ter­day vis­ited the Emer­gency Cen­tre at Khayelit­sha Hospi­tal unan­nounced and es­tab­lished that staff worked un­der ex­tremely pres­surised con­di­tions.

Mbombo vis­ited the hospi­tal in re­sponse to pic­tures on so­cial me­dia of an over­crowded Emer­gency Cen­tre in Khayelit­sha ear­lier this week. The visit was to see for her­self and assess the ser­vices pro­vided to pa­tients.

“I re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­plaints from var­i­ous mem­bers of the Khayelit­sha com­mu­nity, which is wor­ry­ing and that is why I had to go and see it for my­self.

“The pic­tures re­ceived were of pa­tients be­ing cared for on mat­tresses on the floor, and an over­crowded men­tal health unit. I vis­ited the Emer­gency Cen­tre and the sur­gi­cal unit as those were the ser­vices from where most com­plaints were gen­er­ated.” Mbombo said.

She said they were aware the Khayelit­sha District Hospi­tal served a large sur­round­ing com­mu­nity and ex­pe­ri­enced high service pres­sure in the Emer­gency Cen­tre with high vol­umes of pa­tients with in­juries due to in­ter­per­sonal vi­o­lence.

The hospi­tal has 300 beds and was run­ning at a 130% oc­cu­pancy level at present. The pur­pose of yes­ter­day’s visit was to find so­lu­tions to the prob­lems which the hospi­tal faced. Dur­ing the visit, Mbombo al­lowed space for the staff present to make in­put to mat­ters of con­cern to both pa­tients and staff.

Staff worked un­der ex­tremely pres­surised con­di­tions and that is why it was im­por­tant to find a way to im­prove the con­di­tions for both staff and pa­tients.

“Pa­tients ac­cess­ing health­care through Emer­gency are triaged ac­cord­ing to med­i­cal emer­gen­cies. So pa­tients with life­threat­en­ing con­di­tions (red cases) and in­juries are seen first. This re­sults in long wait­ing times for pa­tients need­ing less ur­gent med­i­cal at­ten­tion.

We are urg­ing pa­tients to ac­cess our ser­vices cor­rectly by us­ing their Pri­mary Health Care fa­cil­i­ties in or­der to re­duce service pres­sure and wait­ing times in the Emer­gency Cen­tre. “I would like to em­pha­sise that all pa­tients are im­por­tant to us and that we aim to at­tend to their med­i­cal needs as best as pos­si­ble.

“We are ac­tively work­ing to­wards find­ing so­lu­tions to im­prove our service to the com­mu­nity of Khayelit­sha.”

The hospi­tal was in the process of ap­point­ing more staff to al­le­vi­ate the pres­sures in the Emer­gency Cen­tre and Psy­chi­atric Unit. Six posts have been made avail­able for as­sis­tance with psy­chi­atric pa­tients, and the ap­point­ment process was un­der­way.

A new ward would also be op­er­a­tionalised as well as a CT Scan suite, which would fur­ther al­le­vi­ate the pres­sures on the Emer­gency Cen­tre. A busi­ness case to have an on­site blood bank at the hospi­tal had been sub­mit­ted for ap­proval.

This would bring much re­lief in as­sist­ing with the turn­around for blood re­sults, which was found to be a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the amount of pa­tients wait­ing for treat­ment. This would aid in re­duc­ing the wait­ing time and re­duc­ing the pres­sure on the Emer­gency Cen­tre.

“I would like to urge pa­tients and service users to please make use of the com­plaints man­age­ment sys­tem avail­able. This is an im­por­tant mech­a­nism to im­prove on the service we of­fer.”

Res­i­dents with com­plaints can call the con­tact cen­tre on 0860 142 142 or send a please call me at 079 769 1207.

This service is anony­mous and puts call­ers in con­tact with fa­cil­ity man­age­ment.

IN LIMBO: Pri­mary health­care fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing ad­vised for the pub­lic un­til the pres­sure is re­moved.

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