TAC held a sit-in hospital management

Members of Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) during the peaceful 'sit-in' with Telle Mogoerane Hospital's management team in the hospital's auditorium on November 1.

The hospital has been under scrutiny since reports about mismanagement at the hospital appeared in the media.

Some of the complaints were made directly to TAC by patients who had received bad treatment from the hospital and some concerned staff members who didn’t want to be named.

Anele Yawa, TAC’s national general secretary said they responded to the complaints by visiting the hospital to monitor the situation.

He said they noticed there is negligence, staff have poor attitudes, overcrowding, dirty facilities, long waiting times and that patients are even being turned away.

“Of major concern there is the long waiting time in the casualty ward. People wait many hours to be seen in emergency situations which are an issue of life or death,” said Yawa.

One nurse was quoted as saying: “Sometimes only two nurses look after 45 patients.”

Among other things, staff and patients also complained about ongoing sewerage spillages at the hospital.

Yawa said the reason they staged a sit-in with management was because they had a march in September during which they complained about the poor service delivery that the hospital is rendering.

“Management did not bother to respond. So to prevent all the problems mentioned, we (TAC) want to be given an office in the hospital so that we will be able to monitor the functioning of the hospital more closely,” said Yawa.

He added that they want to have TAC members on the hospital board.

Patients told their stories about the mistreatment they received at the hospital.

The story which touched most of the people is that of Yonela Tshika who said she was pregnant and had stomach pains when she came to the hospital in November 2014.

“Nothing – including the lift, wheelchairs and beds – was functioning. I had to use the steps to go up to the labour ward. I found a nurse who was rude to me. She asked why I was there. I explained my problem to her. She examined me and wrote on my tummy. She said I must tell my doctor that my child’s heart was beating on the side where she had made a mark with a pen. I hate that nurse even today because my child died shortly afterwards because I had waited too long before I got help,” said Tshika.

In response, the hospital CEO Nomonde Mqhayi-Mbambo had this to say: “As the hospital we promise to work with you, but some of the problems that you see are not within our reach as they are supposed to be treated at provincial level and at national level. I promise that we will deal with the problems that within our reach. However, those that are meant to be treated at provincial and national level will be treated as such,” said Mqhayi-Mbambo.

The sit-in was a peaceful and disciplined one. It targeted the administration block and did not disrupt the delivery of healthcare services.

Aaron Damane

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