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MPlain hospital dealing with patient crisis

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Mitchell’s Plain day hospital is buckling under pressure as it deals with an influx of patients stemming from the closure of GF Jooste Hospital in Manenberg. VOC News received a concerning call from a member of the public regarding what she described as a frustrating experience at the Mitchells Plain Day Hospital.
Mymoena Pillay explained that her husband was in need of immediate medical assistance after suffering from severe kidney pain earlier this week. Pillay upon arrival was asked to wait and taken to triage first to establish the state of his sugar levels and BP. After numerous tests and being told they would see the doctor within two to three hours, the couple were seated in the waiting area since 10pm on Thursday evening until 3am Friday morning.

“I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I went up to ask the reception how long we still have to wait and the woman told me that they are short staffed and there was only two doctors on duty,” she explained.

“This was not the first time I was told this. Then I noticed when we were in the trauma unit, there was only one doctor on duty. I had to leave my husband behind at the hospital as I have a young child at home. My eldest daughter waited with my husband at the hospital until I reached them at 7am on Friday.”

“Then at 11am my husband had to sit in another queue to receive his medication. From my experience from collecting my monthly medication at this section, one sits there for six to seven hours at a time before being assisted. There were people around us coughing blood along with sick children. The environment is not safe at all. How can the hospital treat us like this? I just lost it then.

“I grabbed my husband’s folder and gave it back to them because I saw they were just giving him ten Panados. What I’ve noticed is there were people sitting there longer than we had to. People are becoming very frustrated with this service.”

The Western Cape Department of Health spokesperson Monique Johnstone says the department is aware of the complaints from residents and measures have been put in place. One of the measures include medical locums to assist if the need arises.

“If the patient is not an emergency case then the waiting time could be up to 12 hours depending on the influx of emergency cases, but no patient will be sent away without assistance from medical staff.”

However, Johnstone added that the facility is not short staffed.

“The facility has nine full time medical community doctors assisting, five full time facility doctors on duty, and ten clinical nurse practitioners providing clinical services to the community,” Johnstone said.

Some residents in the Mitchells Plain area fear the recurring problems at the facility are the consequences of the closure of GF Jooste Hospital. Johnstone confirmed that only some of those patients were in fact directed to GF Jooste.

“Not at all, citizens who attended GF Jooste Hospital were directed to facilities that fall under the Klipfontein area, such as Heideveld, Hanover Park, Dr Abdurahman, Nyanga, Inzame Zabantu Brown’s Farm and Gugulethu Community Health Clinics. The Mitchells Plain CDC does however provide healthcare to a large geographical area, and in May alone assisted 45 914 citizens,” Johnstone added. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)


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