Alternative health care

2018-05-17 06:00

Frustrated residents say poor service at the Khayelitsha District Hospital is driving them to seek help elsewhere.

The hospital opened its doors to the public a little over six years ago.

The facility caters for residents from Khayelitsha, Mfuleni, including surrounding areas.

Reports of patients having to wait overnight to see a doctor, sleeping on chairs due to shortages of beds and staff, form part of a slew of challenges at the facility.

Known as one of the busiest trauma units in the province, the hospital, which was built to alleviate pressure on other facilities, now sees residents going elsewhere because they no longer trust that they will receive care there.

Khanyiso Gudla, 34, said on two occasions, she had left the hospital with family members, without first receiving medical care.

“I went to the hospital last week with my sick father, he is 78-years-old and has heart problems and had been having chest pains all day. We went to the emergency room and we waited for over five hours without being seen by a doctor. I eventually had to leave him there at around midnight because my children were alone at night,” she said.

“But when I went back the following day, he was still in the waiting room, with no one having even checked his blood pressure or given him a glass of water.

“We had to hire a car to take him elsewhere because he kept getting pushed to the back of the line because there was apparently only one doctor working in the emergency area.

“Last year I also had to leave here with my son after he had fallen and broken his arm and we had also sat there for hours being told that there were people sicker than my son. People sleep on the floor here because there are not enough beds.”

Ward 94 Ccouncillor Patrick Mngxunyeni, said community members had been complaining about the hospital a for a long time but it had taken no action.

Mngxunyeni said a parliamentary committee made an “unannounced visit to the hospital last month and found we needed to improve the quality of services provided.”

The hospital opened as a 240-bed facility. An additional 60 beds which were added over time have done little to alleviate the pressure, VTo page 2.

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