Painful service

2015-05-14 06:00

Silulami Bengwa, pictured with his wife, said that he spend eight hours at the Khayelitsha District Hospital without medical attention.  


Silulami Bengwa, pictured with his wife, said that he spend eight hours at the Khayelitsha District Hospital without medical attention. PHOTO: maNDLA maHASHE

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A man who allegedly spent more than eight hours at the Khayelitsha District Hospital without receiving medical attention, has described his ordeal as the worst experience ever.

Silulami Bengwa, 52, told City Vision how he spent the whole of Monday 4 May in excruciating pain at the hospital.

He said he had been involved in a car accident on Monday 27 April in Piketberg and spent four days at the town’s hospital.

On he discharge, he was sent home, but discovered that he short of pain killers and decided to visit the Khayelitsha District Hospital for help.

“I arrived at around 08:00 and they opened a folder for me and told me to wait for the doctor to see me. I told the nurses that I only needed pain killers but they told me that I needed to see the doctor first,” said Bengwa.

After a two hour wait, Bengwa said he started asking questions.

According to him: “The nurses told me to wait, while other patients had told me that they had been waiting since the night before.

I had to endure the pain all day while I could see young doctors walking around the centre. Most of the people were in pain and others had serious injuries, including stabbing injuries,” Bengwa told City Vision.

He could hardly walk as the pain from his bruised feet and hands got worse as the day progressed.

“There was no care for patients as injured people were left there in that cold trauma waiting room. My wife tried everything to get the attention of the staff and all they could say that we should wait,” he said.

Bengwa said at 16:00 he decided to leave the hospital as the pain was becoming unbearable.

“I just couldn’t take it anymore; I asked my wife to take me to a private doctor as I realised that I would have to spend the night in that cold waiting room,” he said.

Bengwa was then prohibited from leaving the hospital unless he signed a document stating that he refused medical attention.

“I refused to sign this form as it would have made it appear as if I refused treatment, which was not the case.

When I arrived at the private doctor’s office I was quickly assisted as they could see that I was in a bad state. The doctor also removed a piece of glass on my neck,” he recalled.

He said he was heartbroken that he had to be forced by negligence to go to a private doctor.

“It was the worst experience I have had at a hospital. I had been patient at the Nomsa Maphongwana day clinic..and it was much better than this.

There is no care at the Khayelitsha District Hospital and no sign of proper management,” he said.

However, Sithembiso Magubane, provincial health department spokesperson, said the incident was as a result of a misunderstanding.

He said that the patients are treated according to the SA triage system when they arrive in hospital with ‘different emergencies having different urgencies’.

He said upon arrival:

Patients are seen according to colour codes, which indicates the seriousness of the illness.

a) Red - Clients with serious Trauma and/ or medical emergencies - these patients to be attended to immediately

b) Orange - Less serious cases – but is considered urgent.

c) Yellow - Is not life-threatening and will be attended to as soon as possible.

d) Green - Is not serious and could wait longer and will be attended to when a Health Carer is available, he explained.

“Khayelitsha Hospital does receive complaints from clients who do not understand how the triage system works.

Furthermore “The hospital contacted Mr Bengwa to resolve the matter, but he refused, stating that he had already been seen by a private doctor,” said Magubane.

He also said that the hospital wished to apologise to the Mr Bengwa for any inconvenience caused by the incident

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