A concerned resident of Mkhondo informed the Excelsior News of the alleged terrible state in which patients find themselves when visiting the local provincial hospital.
On Thursday, 18 January, a lady took her mother to the Casualty Unit at the Piet Retief Provincial Hospital. Upon arrival, they saw dried bloodstains on the safety gates, at the entrance to the unit. They had to wait for assistance and, in the meantime, they noticed an unknown lady, lying on her stomach on the floor.
For the two hours they had to wait for assistance, the patient lay on the floor, whilst staff members walked over her, seemingly not taking any notice of her or even trying to assist her in any way. As the sick patient tried to lift herself up, one could see that she was naked underneath her hospital gown and she was exposed for the world to see.
At this stage, the reason as to why this lady was lying on a cold, tiled floor to begin with, is not clear yet. Why did no one, including the porters or nurses on duty, lift a finger to help this poor, ill person? On numerous occasions, community members complained about the current state of the Piet Retief Hospital. Incidents vary from patients who do not receive medical attention immediately, rude and disrespectful staff members that refuse to help patients, dirty and unhygienic facilities, such as blood stained bathroom walls and floors, to only name but a few.
The Excelsior News contacted the Piet Retief Hospital to get answers to these questions, as incidents like these are totally unacceptable. During all the telephone calls made to the hospital, the Excelsior News was informed that hospital staff members are not allowed to speak to the media and if there are any complaints, it should be directed to the hospital’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Mr Patrick Lekhuleni.
On Tuesday, 23 January, the Excelsior News sent Mr Lekhuleni an e-mail about the complaint and attached the photo as well. By the time of going to press, no comment was received, but the Excelsior News will arrange a meeting with him This is a violation of human rights and should not be ignored! and give feedback on the matter once it is received.
Not only is the poor service and lack of respect for fellow human beings questionable in this hospital, but reports have also been received of the terrible service delivery at local clinics as well. When patients go there to receive their monthly medication, they have to sometimes wait in queues for more than three hours.
When they finally reach the counter, they are then informed that their medication is not available and they have to return at a later stage. This is not acceptable! Some of these individuals have to take a day’s leave and often, without payment for the day, only to find out that they have to return a second or third time! The same goes for outpatients at the local provincial hospital.