Life Piet Retief Hospital response to Excelsior News.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Mr and Mrs Rostoll’s “Letter to the Editor” dated 18 September 2015. Life Healthcare has a strict policy of patient confidentiality in place and for that reason I will not be in a position to address all the issues raised in the letter. It would be unethical to disclose personal information. That said, I can confirm that Mrs Rostoll was contacted by our Hospital Management and the incident was discussed with her and the Radiology department. Going forward, the matter will be handled internally and confidentially.
Although, Life Healthcare accepts full responsibility for providing radiology services, it is important to highlight that the facilities are outsourced to privately-owned operators. While there is a radiographer on site during normal business hours (Monday to Thursday, 09:00 – 16:00, Friday 09:00 – 13:00 and Saturday 09:30 – 11:00), it is not feasible to have the radiographer available on 24/7 basis. After-hour emergencies are therefore covered on a standby basis. We are however investigating the possibility of extending these hours. Should a patient require an emergency X-ray outside of normal working hours, a radiographer is called out to provide the service. If a patient is seen by a doctor outside of the hospital and the doctor requires that the emergency X-rays be done at Life Piet Retief Hospital, the doctor must make arrangements with the radiographer to attend to the emergency.
The rationale is to establish the primary diagnosis, as well as the type of X-rays that should be taken. If this is not done, there is potential for confusion around the precise requirements of the referring doctor, since laymen are not familiar with the varying types of Xray. This protocol enhances the safety and services to the public. We welcome all patient feedback on services rendered and will always strive to ensure that our patients’ expectations are met or exceeded. We wish Mr and Mrs Rostoll’s baby a speedy recovery.
Sincerely Nevil Vlok Hospital Manager