Patients given biscuits instead of food

2012-01-25 08:45

Polokwane - Severe food shortages at Limpopo hospitals have resulted in patients being given biscuits to eat instead of bread, vegetables and fruit.

The Star
reports that in some state hospitals doctors have even started paying for food out of their own pockets.

At hospitals like the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital in Polokwane, there is no bread and patients are given tea with biscuits. Patients are given porridge with meat during the day but there is no longer fruit or vegetables.

At the Voortrekker Hospital in Mokopane, doctors last week used their own money to buy food for their patients.

The South African Medical Association (Sama) has promised legal action against Limpopo’s service providers who have cut back on food supplies in hospitals.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said last week that service delivery was being sabotaged in Limpopo and that the National Treasury was being undermined for its decision to take over five departments in the province.

There were reports that suppliers had been told to hold back on delivering food for political reasons and not because of non-payment of services.

Limpopo health department spokesperson Joe Maila admitted to the newspaper that some hospitals were experiencing food shortages.

"But we know that since the weekend, suppliers have been beginning to deliver food," he said.

  • procold2 - 2012-01-25 08:52

    the chickens are coming home to roost,feel sorry for the patients though.

      Bardy - 2012-01-25 09:05

      I think it's time for a petition in this country to eradicate the ANC. Let the world also witness this tragedy.

      Newsreader - 2012-01-25 09:35

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha.... I love it!!! I am having fillet and mash for lunch with a nice bottle of Rupert and Rothchild. The ANC are awarding their comrades with what they deserve for what they voted for! Viva milie pap...I mean viva biscuits,! Viva!

      Kacee - 2012-01-25 11:15

      And they want to build an airport? They cant even get the essential service right. Absolute morons

      Perfume5 - 2012-01-25 13:20

      @Alicia...KFC I think :)

      Perfume5 - 2012-01-25 13:31

      I don't know whether to laugh or cry Alicia, what is happening in this hospital is a disgrace. I applaud the doctors that had to dig deep into their pockets to buy the patients food.

      Wall - 2012-01-25 13:53

      Alicia, I don't really get your point about the staff... Public hospital staff aren't given food, they bring or buy their own. Newsreader - shame on you.

      bradleybrits - 2012-02-19 20:20

      Alicia I work in a gov hospital and we don't get provided with any food. Unlike when I work in private.

  • Lara - 2012-01-25 08:54

    Who was it who said 'Let them eat cake?' I think she might have lost her head a bit.

      larisha.toffar - 2012-01-25 09:37

      in my 21 years i finally get to "meet" someone with whom i share a name, pleased to meet u! :)

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-25 10:24

      @Lara you are so right! Of you know it was Marie Antoinette who said "let them eat cake" - and it was a sign of how out of touch she was in her Ivory Tower. Ironic though, in our SA society it is now showing how much OUT OF TOUCH this current overfed political regime is with the plight of the people on the ground - especially the poor, the sick and the under-educated.

  • Bennie - 2012-01-25 08:58

    Banana anyone??

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-25 10:46

      No bananas in a 4th world country, only 3rd world...

  • Singatha - 2012-01-25 09:01

    "service delivery was being sabotaged in Limpopo" OMG!!! What has become of the ANC provincial goverment to deliberately starve it's own already sick people?It's beyond comprehension and the sad part is hardly anyone will or is willing to take the fall for this scandalous state of affairs.

      Ben - 2012-01-25 09:04

      Shame. And to think these patients voted for them and they will do so again. What a tragedy.

      Sharon - 2012-01-25 10:25

      So it is all a HUGE conspiracy and has NOTHING at all to do with maladministration and poor planning. I am surprised no-one has thought to blame the Tikoloshe, maybe he eats all the patients' food in the middle of the night!

  • Andre Lombard - 2012-01-25 09:08

    Open your eyes folks. This is how much your government cares for you. Using sick people as bargaining chips in a bid to hold on to their corrupt ways.

      Singatha - 2012-01-25 09:16

      And they will do so while the leaders enjoy the champagne on their behalf through their lips.

      jody.beggs - 2012-01-25 09:58

      I'm just waiting for the "apartheid" excuse. Damn the man.

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-25 09:09

    Nice One!!! The ANC run Limpopo government cannot even see to the MOST BASIC needs of the people. Will the voters now realise that the ANC feels nothing for them? Even food in hospitals is withheld because of political infighting!!!! African National Corruptors!!!! Bring out the begging bowls while the elite sip Johnny Walker Blue and Green!!!

  • Piet - 2012-01-25 09:10

    Gotta Love the ANC's incompetence!

  • Warwick - 2012-01-25 09:10

    And this is freedom the black mojority voted for. Now they are free from evil food, free from evil service delivery. Viva freedom viva. I bet not one of our "esteemed" leaders will ever allow themeselves or the families to be admitted to these hospitals. Viva freedom viva. To think that the cANCer governmemt would starve its own electorate in hospital. This is rather sick. Viva freedom viva.

  • Janice - 2012-01-25 09:10

    What the HELL is going on in Limpopo??? Its just one bad story after the next!!!

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-25 10:28

      Malema territory.......

  • Lynn - 2012-01-25 09:11

    This is not limited to that area. On Monday my husband was taken to Somerset hospital in Cape Town. He has adult chicken pox and suspected septacemia. He was shivering and shaking with fever. He was offered nothing not even a glass of water. He was not given a blanket. We had to take a blanket. After a whole day in the emergency ward he was finally seen by a doctor at 7.30 pm. They took his blood to check for septacemia and told us to take him home. We are still trying to get the results of this blood test to see if he has septacemia. The doctor told me we must learn to exercise patience. The state of Government Healthcare in this country is disgusting. Animal anti cruelty facilities treat their patients better. The joke is that on the wall in the room where my husband was there is a chart that gives a list of times in which patients must be seen to according to their emergency. The longest waiting period is supposed to be 240 minutes. My husband waited 540minutes and then only received treatment as a result of my mother-in-law and I both arguing with nurses and doctors to come and help. We have now been phoning non stop to get his blood results but nobody is able to give them to us. It is absolutely disgusting. The hospital itself has had a revamp to its entrance and is sparkly and nice but once you get past that it is filthy. Toilet seats have been ripped out. The walls and doors are covered with filth. Apparently Truworths and Total sponsor this hospital.

      Lynn - 2012-01-25 09:13

      What I would love to know is whether anyone from these companies goes there to see what they are proudly saying that they sponsor. I wouldn't want to brag about my sponsorship with signs on a building when what is going on in there is so shocking.

      Mary-Ann - 2012-01-25 09:17

      Shocking. Suspected septacemia should be monitored and dealt with as a matter of extreme urgency. I hope your husband gets well soon. Perhaps try contacting the Assistant Health Director I got results going that route once.

      Lynn - 2012-01-25 09:37

      @ Mary-Ann. Thanks for the concern and advice. I will try that route this morning.

      brendan.beech - 2012-01-25 09:47

      let truworths & total know as well!!

      Wall - 2012-01-25 14:20

      Interesting that the longest waiting period is supposed to be "only" 240 minutes... did you see if it's a hospital-specific chart or a departmental one? My husband works at a public hospital and he's always frustrated about how long the patients have to wait - some even sit there for 8 hours. But being so understaffed, the poor doctors work themselves half to death and still can't get around to everyone faster. That being said, though, septicaemia is a serious concern which should get attention (as Mary-Ann said). And generally, we encourage people to complain about the hospitals if they have bad service - the more complaints there are, the more pressure to improve!

      Kevin Adendorff - 2013-04-22 22:28

      What is the ANC government actually paying for? they are levying new taxes every day and every day they are appealing to the public and private sector to pay for things and services that governments all over the world pay for. They are stealing faster than what they are gathering taxes. Oh but lets not forget that the ANC can grant interest free loans to our "Democratic friends like Swaziland ,Zimbabwe and Cuba and here we are speaking about billions at a tome. Never ever to be repaid. Pravin Gordham doesn't know the facts or he says what he has to say ,he hasn't paid the suppliers for years. I personally know of a couple of national service providers some of whom are listed on the JSE that have been waiting for years for payment and have submitted audited accounts dozens of time only to be met with queries and delaying tactics to avoid payment, until they can levy some newly created tax to tax us to death even faster.

  • Mary-Ann - 2012-01-25 09:14

    This is absolutely disgusting.

  • laurentia.hodge - 2012-01-25 09:16

    it seems their attitude is take whatever you get and be grateful. as long as they're comfortable in their nice houses, cars and private jets. why worry about the rest? look at the state of gov hospitals, childrens homes and old age homes!!!! it's sickening!

  • Sechaba - 2012-01-25 09:20

    Limpopo is not the best place to get ill in

  • Derk - 2012-01-25 09:22

    biscuits......................oh crumbs no

      Janice - 2012-01-25 11:22


      Janice - 2012-01-25 13:01

      KUK FUNNY, my tummy hurts!!!

  • Zion - 2012-01-25 09:22

    In all reasonableness how can service providers provide a service when non-payment is the order of the day. This is taking place in most hospitals in the county. In many cases the service provider has failed to honour orders because non-payment was expected. Some of the hospitals are actually black-listed by companies who supply equipment and sanitary wares. Proudly South African?

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-25 10:19

      While no-one is going to dispute this, Zion, the article points out that in this instance the lack of service is not due to non-payment, but rather was specifically requested as a political maneouvre. Much more horrifying than simple lack of payment.

      Kevin Adendorff - 2013-04-22 22:35

      Jeffrey, don't for one second believe Pravin .He is a prime muppet just like all the rest. I took him on on Cape Talk live about saying that Swaziland was granted the millions in loans based on standard banking lending criteria. He had no answer to the fact that Swaziland Gov hadn't had audited statements for 9 years. His reply to my question as to what security he had put in place in the case of default he said" we have signed debit order". That is our Honorable esteemed Minister of Finance.

  • Xoli - 2012-01-25 09:23

    What is wrong with our country,we cant even look after the man its wrong

      Michele - 2012-01-25 10:07

      The voters are wrong. The government they vote for is wrong. Its not difficult to see. Start by changing your votes from the ANC.

      Xoli - 2012-01-25 10:23

      What makes you think that I voted for the ANC is it because my name is Xoli and you assume that I am black so obviuosly I must have voted for the ANC, get of your high horse or no better yet if you have nothing to say shut it...have a nice day

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-25 10:37

      @Xoli - you are 100% correct - your opinion and remark was totally apolitical! NB Apolitical = completely neutral.

  • Lloyd - 2012-01-25 09:24

    thanks to the media, all this corruption is exposed.

      lindz.kok - 2012-01-25 09:34

      not for long remember the secracy bill

  • Sharon - 2012-01-25 09:27

    And! In the meantime the 'caring' goverment is having parties costing hundreds of millions - eating themselves untill their fat faces is shining like the sun! Doing luxury renovations to their houses costing millions, for each of their multiple wifes and children going to private schools, bodyguards/security, etc..... And then they are oh so compationate towards their 'comrades/people' who have to live in poverty and no money for services. Eish! All the fault of apartheid of course. They should up the 'guilt taxes'.

  • chhpurdy - 2012-01-25 09:31

    Suck it up all of you that voted YES at the referendum. The weather today in Perth is 38 degrees with a light south westerly breeze

      Gerhard - 2012-01-25 10:10

      Consumer Prices in South Africa are 38.99% lower than in Australia Consumer Prices Including Rent in South Africa are 42.96% lower than in Australia Rent Prices in South Africa are 57.63% lower than in Australia Restaurant Prices in South Africa are 48.85% lower than in Australia Groceries Prices in South Africa are 47.52% lower than in Australia Enjoy the good life in Australia!! And don't try the whole, we earn so much more here than in SA, that is not going to fly as it is a lie! I'm proudly South African and plus if I emigrate, I can't take my dogs with me.

      Jeffrey - 2012-01-25 10:15

      Too bloody hot for me mate!

      Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-25 10:26

      Your words indicate that you fit right in there. I am a british citizen with a professional degree, and I CHOOSE to stay here. SA is the best country on earth right now. I just look through the politics and crap, and as long as I earn well, I'm not affected by any of the ANC's policies, that's the plight of the poor masses that voted for them. Unfortunately, in any country, wealth provides an immunity to the countries ills. The sad part is that the poor will continue to vote ANC, and THEIR suffering will only get worse. But as long as they're free right. It will take civil war for me to leave.

      Jomah - 2012-01-25 10:31

      Not many people know this interesting fact. In 1872 the Australians invented the condom, using a sheep's bladder. In 1873 the Scottish somewhat refined the idea by taking the bladder out of the sheep first

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-25 10:46

      I would rather have SA with ALL it's pimples and warts - South Africa is a BEAUTIFUL country - our family, spread across the UK and Oz, have now decided to come back again at the end of this year. Something good IS stirring in SA - it just takes a change of attitude, and when one listens to young folk like Lindiwe Mazibuko on Radio 702 yesterday, one gets hope for the future. The days of this corrupt and inept regime are numbered. The BIG difference will already be seen in the Poll results in 30 months time. JUST BELIEVE IT!

      mike.clery - 2012-01-25 11:01

      @Showerhead Zooma - It's nice to be in a position to reap the benefit of living in SA and ignore the problems. When it all goes belly-up, you can just pack up and return to the UK. South African citizens don't have that option.

      Heibrin - 2012-01-25 12:04

      @Gerhard: can you provide references (web-links) for the statistics you quote? I'd really like to see how they came to those numbers. PM me if you can't / don't want to reply here.

      Ken - 2012-02-19 19:39

      @ chhpurdy. Why are you reading this ? Homesick maybe ?

  • Andre - 2012-01-25 09:33

    What a disgrace to SA!

      Johann - 2012-01-25 09:38

      You get what you vote for!

  • Marius - 2012-01-25 09:33

    YOU READING THIS ANC? You obviously dont care. You only care about your own pockets. You go to a private hospital when you are sick. You just keep them for their votes.

      Newsreader - 2012-01-25 12:31

      Voters get free biscuits!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-25 09:36

    In cases where it can be proved that the non delivery is politically motivated the suppliers should be kicked out and have their contract voided as well as being put on a banned supplier list for a 10 year period. Where the shortages are as a direct result of non payment, the government, finance department and SAMA, can all go take a jump, you don't pay me I don't supply you easy and simple. Government has no valid excuse for non payment, and must be held fully and wholly responsible and accountable.I sure we have enough rich businessmen in this country that would finance a law suit by the people of South Africa against the ANC led government. The sooner people take off their rose tinted glasses and accept that all government are by their very make up enemies of the people, and most definitely not working towards the betterment of anyone they are not getting a large kickback from the better. That so many "learned" men cannot see what is right in front of their faces never ceases to amaze.

  • Heibrin - 2012-01-25 09:39

    Listen too that... *cups his hand around his ear* **crickets in the background**... not even our usual 'comrades' can / are prepared to defend this. What's really interesting for me is that it is always someone else's fault: not the Health Dept for non-payment, but the suppliers sabotaging delivery. Not the ministers incompetence, but sabotage due to the takeover of the departments. If the departments are in that bad a state, fire / suspend the lot and get competent people (even under contract) to do the job. This isn't arms being bought or a party being planned, it's people's lives we're talking about.

      TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-01-25 10:16

      why would a supplier sabotage delivery if it means an income for them??? obviously they aren't being paid and the lies are really getting OLD.

  • Traygon - 2012-01-25 09:43

    VOTE ANC!! pfffffftttttttt... lap it all up ye who believe in the ANC

  • Patrick - 2012-01-25 09:44

    with anc in power. anything is possible.

  • Spoed - 2012-01-25 09:49

    Where is comrade "malemmer"!! --- fighting for his porsion of the "cake"! mooi man!

      Singatha - 2012-01-25 10:08

      Where's Bishop Tutu and other so called "voices of reason" in the hour of this great catastrophe

      Janice - 2012-01-25 13:05

      No, this time he doesnt want any cake, he wants biscuits!

  • Lorenzo - 2012-01-25 09:59

    Glad to see our tax money is being used wisely. Thank god for Medical Aid and Private Hospitals…

  • Moloto Mabonchi - 2012-01-25 10:00

    The same people who are accused of drying the province's coffers are the service providers. So what is hapening in hospitals is just a fight back.

  • Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-25 10:02

    Ministers: Buy moar million rand Mercedes Benz Showerhead: Buy moar billion rand 'presidential aircraft' Problem tax payers?

  • elspeth.hassall - 2012-01-25 10:05

    SHOCKING!!!! and to think this country once had one of the best health services in the world!

  • Showerhead Zooma - 2012-01-25 10:06

    Oh, and... Vote moar ANC Problem DA?

      Ken - 2012-02-19 19:43

      @Dick Head. It's MORE not moar you idiot.

  • customdesign - 2012-01-25 10:07

    Kudos to the doctors who paid from their own pockets

  • Moira - 2012-01-25 10:13

    This is an absolute disgrace and needs much more exposure than this article. I applaud the doctors who are doing their best to help - how awful for the poor sick people. Will this ever end?

      Ben - 2012-01-25 11:04

      Exposure? How about the International Red Cross. There are sick people suffering. This is not a war, I admit, but it is a crisis.

  • Wendy - 2012-01-25 10:23

    They won't be happy until they have totally ruined this country, then when there is no more money they will start begging .. and tell everyone it is the fault of apartheid ..

  • Hannetjie - 2012-01-25 10:28

    It is shocking and tragic that our public hospitals are in such a state. We took a visitor to the Bela Bela hospital for emergency treatment in December and the conditions there are poor!!!! Lots of people cannot afford private hospitals and are forced to get treatment at the state hospitals - time for government to seriously address this!!!!!

  • Stephen - 2012-01-25 10:28

    Enjoy the biscuits; soon you'll be eating those yellow ANC T shirts, because that's all that will be left.

      Albert - 2012-01-25 10:36

      There is nothing left already,they are borrowing overseas at 23% interest,the only way they can still get investment.Just boycot everything they do and it will soon be over.

  • Peter - 2012-01-25 10:29

    Delivery with held due to political pressure. FU&K, Now Mal-enema is using hospitals to get his own way. Also.... The money has run out, so no more kick backs, so delivery with held. The Bluddy politicinans just DO NOT CARE for the populace, just them selves. It's sickening

  • Marlin Eric Gerber - 2012-01-25 10:32

    There you have it food held back by none other than "political issues" appoint the correct leadership, do away with those who have a complacent behavior & this country will grow monumentally.

  • gideon.nel - 2012-01-25 10:33

    democracy (noun) the freedom to elect our own dictators.

  • Jurado Symms - 2012-01-25 10:34

    I am visiting in the Freestate in a small town Jagersfontein ,this town recieved a brand new hospital and at this moment no Doctors and proper trained staff , as a patient you have to bring your own bedding and food ?. This is a slap in the face of every taxpayer and should be investigated and their is no Doctors on duty ?.Money spend but nothing is working eye blinding the poeple of this country !!

      Xavier7034 - 2012-01-25 11:04

      They have got 3 Aircraft to take Zuma on a meaningless trip to the UN though...only cost another R10 million.....what did THEY eat on board.....oh of course BISCUITS......after the Oysters, Caviar, Olives, Imported Avos for Spain, Chevis Regal, European wines...Chinese Clothes? No probably European tailored suits. ONLY the best....whilst the population at large eats an undernourished diet.

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-25 10:44

    This is moving from 3rd world into oblivion...

  • mahayi - 2012-01-25 10:59

    The SA MEDICAL Association (SAMA) say they will take legal action against service providers who cut back on food supply this sound being responsible on their side but they would help the situation by taking legal action against the party that fails to honour its obligation of paying for services rendered by service providers. These poor service providers have been caught between the rock and the hard place. Probably they ran out of cash cause they have suuplied but they were never paid.

      Perfume5 - 2012-01-25 13:24

      Well said!

  • jack.kukard - 2012-01-25 11:20

    Circus clowns all together.....

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-25 11:36

    Heavens, and they want us all to belong to some sort of national health insurance. These people can't run a bath, let alone a country. I am actually waiting for apartheid to get the blame.

  • John - 2012-01-25 12:02

    Sorry.... we can't afford bread, but can afford biscuits.... I can feed a lot more people on R 8.00 bread than I can on R 8.00 biscuits... Maybe the staff are sharing their rations

  • jonessierob - 2012-01-25 12:19

    its no crises its normal loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool

  • Dawn - 2012-01-25 12:34

    I think this is absolutely sick! there are options! Fruit & Vege throws away hundreds of rands a week with fruit that expire etc., why don't they donate fruit and veggies to the hospitals?? It may be them that may need that fruit or veg one day!!

  • Perfume5 - 2012-01-25 13:14

    Where is the MONEY????

  • Derek - 2012-01-25 13:20

    Another day in a country run by banana eating officials...

  • Esther - 2012-01-25 13:21

    During a visit to Malawi in '95 we saw family members of patients preparing food on open fires outside a hospital because there were no food available for the patients. We were also told that patients had to supply their own bedding because there was none available (stolen). It did not take SA too long to catch up with the rest of Africa!!!