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.

Pic­ture: SUP­PLIED

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

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