Seeking healthy answers

2019-05-14 06:00
Lotus River Community Day Centre PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Lotus River Community Day Centre PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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The provincial department of health is looking at ways of improving the quality of services offered at two-day hospitals: Dr Abdurahman Community Day Centre in Athlone and Lotus River Community Day Centre (CDC).

Emerging complaints by the local patients include long waiting periods, negative attitude by the staff and unhygienic environment, especially in the public toilets.

A patient who has been going to Lotus River CDC, Zaniep Manuel says the situation has been like this for a long time but it has recently deteriorated.

She has a son that has been receiving chronic medication for years and is now undergoing a physiotherapy.

“It is a challenge for us, the service we get is horrible,” Manuel says.

She says despite waiting long hours to get help, they also have to deal with staff that send them up and down and sometimes even struggle to find patients files.

“I have heard people complaining about lost files, luckily I have not experienced that,” says Manuel.

It is the same story in Dr Abdurahman CDC. It is alleged that people have been forced to return the following day due to slow service.

Spokesperson for the provincial health department, Monique Johnstone acknowledges these issues and encourages the public to report any complaints to the CDCs or the department.

Regarding the two CDCs, she says at Dr Abdurahman CDC, there are six cleaners and a housekeeping supervisor at the facility who constantly maintains the cleanliness of the facility daily.

Johnstone says they have taken extra measures at the facility. “[It] is so crowded during the day, cleaners will be coming in on a Saturday once per quarter to properly strip, scrub and buff the floors.”

She also confirms that the facility has challenges with the sewerage system which is often blocked as a result of clients “choosing” to use hand towels instead of toilet rolls which are available.

“The facility does have challenges with their waiting times at the pharmacy, but due to the volumes of clients accessing the facility from other areas as well it adds to the waiting times,” Johnstone adds.

She says Dr Abdurahman is in the process of increasing their off-site Community Day Unit points to assist in decreasing waiting times and that an appointment system for collection of medicine has been implemented as well.

“The public holidays also impact negatively on long waiting times. People also not adhering to their appointment times and defaulters contribute towards the long waiting times as well,” says Johnstone.

She says it is the same issue at the Lotus River CDC.

Johnstone says added capacity was allocated to the pharmacy to alleviate the service pressures, but the reception unit remains a challenge due to the influx of patients and staff capacity.

Johnstone says the department would like the community to work with facility staff and come up with suggestions to improve service delivery.

With regards to staff attitude at Dr Abdurahman, Johnstone explains that front line staff have been sent for life skill, customer care and telephone etiquette training.

“And if we receive complaints of staff attitude, it gets addressed on an individual basis and is discussed in general staff meetings,” she concludes.

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