Anger over hospital wait
Doctor shortage at Grey
Ashortage of medical practitioners at Grey Hospital in King William’s Town has crippled service delivery to such and extent that patients have lost hope and resorted to approaching other hospitals in the vicinity.
The GO! & Express has been inundated with calls over the past two weeks from concerned and frustrated patients about the situation. Advice from concerned family members about their siblings was also sought on social networks.
Patients are apparently made to sit in long queues for the entire day, some without having seen any doctors. A source working at the facility reckoned the shortage of medical practitioners was just the tip of the iceberg.
“We are also faced with a shortage of food, medicine, drugs, folders and cleaning materials,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.
“Even the poor patients and staff have to use toilets which are unhygienic and blocked, but what breaks my heart is to see patients coming for three consecutive days hoping to see a doctor.”
Breidbach resident and chronic patient Glenda Adkins is one of the frustrated patients.
“After coming here to Grey on a Thursday, I had to leave late in the afternoon without seeing a doctor and was requested to come back on Friday,” she said.
“The CEO made it clear to me that there was a shortage of doctors and it’s something which they had no control over,” Adkins said.
“I then demanded back my consultation fee of R70 but they refused.”
She went to Bhisho hospital and received first class service on Monday after waiting less than two hours.
Magda Coetzee, also from Breidbach, said it was clear the “Bathole Pele” principles did not apply at Grey.
“The practice of Batho Pele is normally prescribed for good and excellent service by government departments that promote the consciousness and consideration of people’s needs. It is evidently lacking at Grey after I experienced two days of wasting money and time in an effort to receive medical assistance,” said Coetzee.
EC Health provincial spokesperson Luwandile Sitwqabi blamed the problem on an influx of patients, many of whom should be going to their respective clinics.
Sitwqabi said the shortage of doctors had been addressed but they would follow up the situation.
“We have had a meeting with the CEO about the concerns last week and we also will have to start with an awareness campaign to educate people to use their clinics for a way forward to overcome this problem,” said Sitwqabi.
ENDLESS WAIT: Patients at Grey Hospital sit in long queues every day hoping to receive help,but some have to leave unattended due to the shortage of doctors