From the news desk

“Treat us with dignity at local clinics”- these are the cries of residents in the Mother City

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By Loushe Jordaan Gilbert

Residents in and around Cape Town have expressed their frustrations around the state of public hospitals and clinics, referring to the services offered at these facilities as a disgrace to humanity.

As talks continue around the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill, emotions are running high with many feeling that the healthcare sector is not ready to deal with the influx of people who would be utilizing the service, as the current system is already flawed.

Speaking to VOC News, residents shared their experiences when visiting public health facilities.

“Visiting the clinic is a whole day event. The queues are long, and the way staff speak to patients is unacceptable, some of them are very rude to us and not helpful at all.”

“Nurses and staff members would prioritize a lunch break while we are standing waiting to be helped. We do not have decent seating; we get sent from post to pillar and it is just not fair to us at all. They took an oath to make sure that the sick and frail are cared for, what happened to that oath?”

“We get appointments with times, but we end up being told to come back the next day. We already wait for about 3 months to get an appointment, yet they do not prioritize us.”

Speaking to an elderly patient who visits her local clinic monthly, she said the conditions at the clinics are unbearable.

“Besides the queues, the attitude from staff, the fact that no one really knows what system they are working on, hygiene is an issue for many of us. The toilets are not only dirty, but they barely have locks which infringes on our privacy,” she stated.

When asked if the services received from government institutions have improved over the last decade, an aggrieved resident said service delivery in all aspects has deteriorated.

“The state of clinics, hospitals and all government institutions are horrendous, the standards dropped completely. The fact that we are treated as a ticket and not a person at clinics leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Where is the humanity, what happened to serving the people with dignity,” she stressed.

The Department of Health has indicated that they will provide comment at a later stage.


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