Dept denies medicines running out

2012-10-03 00:00

THE transport strike is affecting the delivery of medicines to the Ngwelezane hospital, nursing staff said.

This contradictions the official version of the KZN Department of Health, which said the strike had had no bearing on medical deliveries.

The hospital made the statement after nursing staff told The Witness that they were running out of anti-retrovirals (ARVs) and vitamins.

Wanting to remain anonymous, they said they were having to turn patients away for lack of stock.

But a hospital manager told The Witness there was no crisis or shortages of medicines except for “drugs that were reported to be out of stock within the province”.

Although he would not specify which drugs are out of stock, the hospital’s acting public relations officer, Tobias Gumede, said everything was “under control”.

“We would like to assure the community that the provincial Department of Health is handling the matter … there is no crisis with regard to the shortage of medication at the Ngwelezane hospital,” said Gumede.

He said the pharmacy manager was working hard to ensure that medicines were available for patients.

“We get medicine deliveries twice a month. If medication is out of stock, alternatives are suggested or patients’ cell numbers are taken by the pharmacy and they are called as soon as medication arrives. Stock is also sourced from other hospitals,” said Gumede.

Health Department spokesperson Chris Maxon said all orders for medicines were done in bulk and that the strike was not affecting the delivery of medicine.

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