Nehawu backs hospital staff

2014-11-06 00:00

STAFF of Edendale Hospital are working hard under trying circumstances.

That was the verdict of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) following a surprise visit to the hospital yesterday.

The union visited the hospital with the Young Communist League of South Africa to determine the obstacles to the implementation of the NHI scheme; the hospital is one of the sites chosen for a pilot project.

Nehawu and league representatives talked to patients and visited areas, including the admissions, emergency and pharmacy sections.

Nehawu regional secretary Zamisile Giyama said patients were happy with the service received from the staff.

“The problem we noted is the critical shortage of working implements, including beds. You find that a patient has been admitted but they do not even have a bed,” he said.

Giyama claimed one patient had been sitting in a chair while waiting for a bed since Friday.

“She has a serious wound on her leg … she has not been admitted and is sitting on chairs. When you are in that position, you are not even in the budget for food at the hospital; you have to make your own plan,” he said.

Giyama said another problem was that funded vacant posts had not been filled, which compromised service delivery. “There is also an issue with ambulances — it is disturbing that an entire district that services close to 1,2 million people has only 18 ambulances. They are not even in good condition. There should be at least 120 ambulances,” he said.

The Health Department could not respond to the issues raised because they require a written enquiry 24 hours before publishing.

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