Outrage as Northdale outpatients ‘neglected for cake sale’

2011-03-17 00:00

HEALTH care at the Northdale Hospital has “gone to the dogs”, say patients who claim to have spent more than eight hours queuing in sweltering heat inside and outside the hospital on Tuesday waiting for their medication.

The patients, who were at the hospital for their appointment day, complained bitterly of the slow service delivery, apparently caused by the hospital being short-staffed. But some patients claimed many of the nurses had gone to a cake sale taking place inside the hospital.

The patients claimed that there were only two doctors and two nurses attending to the large number of people waiting for medication.

A 67-year-old patient who declined to be named and suffers from different ailments including hypertension and skin problems said she got to Northdale hospital at about 4 am, but was only assisted at about 12 pm.

She said Tuesday was appointment day and hence a large number of people turned up.

“I was the first one in the line and I was there only to get my medication refilled, but I stayed for almost eight hours.”

There were other more sickly patients who got there at about 5 am and I left while they were still waiting to be attended too.”

The source accused the staff members at the hospital of not caring about the patients.

“The workers at the hospital told us that they were short-staffed, there were only two doctors and two nurses that were taking temperature, they claimed to be short-staffed but while we were at the hospital the nurses put up a poster saying there was a cake sale.”

How can you have a cake sale when there are so many people in the hospital who need to be attended to?”

The source said even more disconcerting was that a large number of sickly people would not be attended to because the appointment day had been overbooked.

“Many of these people are going to be sent back and asked to come back tomorrow [Wednesday] because there were just too many people.”

The Health Department was contacted for comment on Tuesday; they promised to respond, but had not done so at the time of going to print.

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