Elderly patients turned away as Bangalore Road Clinic runs out of drugs

2011-06-22 00:00

SCORES of patients stood in the cold outside the Bangalore Road Clinic, frustrated that they had been turned away because of a shortage of medicines.

They complained about the clinic’s new system, which requires patients to produce their IDs before being issued with their medication.

Patients claim they had not been informed of this.

Lutchmie Padayachee (83) walked with a crutch from Northdale only to have to wait for several hours on a concrete bench before she was seen to and given her heart and blood pressure pills.

“I sent a relative to get my pills for me last week Monday because I wasn’t feeling well.

“I fell and was in terrible pain, but they told him I should come get them for myself,” she said.

“How can I do that when I’m sick?”

Padayachee said that since her medication ran out she has been having “dreadful” headaches.

Ramroop Brijnarian (69) said he did not receive his medication either. He is due to receive treatment on June 30.

“Half the time I don’t get my medication and I need it. I’m out of tablets,” said Brijnarian.

Patients told The Witness that they line up at the clinic as early as 4.30 am in the hope that they will be assisted without having to sit outside in the cold for hours.

Many patients are forced to wait outside until there is enough room inside the small clinic.

Bangalore Road Clinic is a municipal health centre.

Msunduzi municipal spokesperson Brian Zuma said chronic medication collected at the clinic is packed at Northdale Hospital pharmacy, which is experiencing a shortage of drugs.

He said patients should go to Northdale pharmacy for drugs not available from Bangalore Road.

“The department of health recently introduced a chronic medication register,” he said.

“This register requires the full ID number and patients have been asked to return with their ID numbers at their next visit.”

Zuma insisted that no patients have been refused medication after failing to present their IDs.

He said due to financial constraints at the municipality, his office has not approved the building of an enclosure of the verandah in the current financial year.

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