From the news desk

Expect delays at state hospitals during holidays

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The Western Cape health department says human error could be blamed for a patient being turned away from the doctors rooms at the Mitchell’s Plain hospital. On Monday, VOC News received a complaint from a patient who visited the doctor on appointment, but on arrival she was told that no doctors were available to assist as the “doctors section” was closed due to it being a public holiday. She was advised to return the next day to reschedule her appointment.

On Tuesday, the department’s acting director of communications, Mark Van der Heever, explained that the incident was an oversight on the part of the doctor who requested the appointment date, as well as an oversight by the hospital staff that were on duty who should not have scheduled an appointment on a public holiday.

“This was a very unfortunate incident, one that we would not want to happen in the future. From the hospital’s side, we do acknowledge that it was human error,” Van der Heever explained.

With a few public holidays looming, Van Der Heever said patients should expect longer waiting times, specifically with regard to emergency services.

He further noted that doctors are on standby in emergency situations where additional staff is required.

In addition, VOC received reports of unsatisfied patients who asserted that the waiting time for queuing patients is generally a few hours.

One listener complained that she experienced frustration whilst waiting in the hospital queue since hospital staff reeked of alcohol.

Van der Heever encouraged patients who are unsatisfied with their service or find that the staff of the hospital is not conducting themselves in a professional manner to immediately approach the facility manager, the quality assurance manager, or the hospital CEO.

“We need the problem to be dealt with immediately,” he added.

Unsatisfied patients are encouraged to contact the Mitchells Palin Hospital complaints hotline on 086 0142142. Alternatively, email:


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