Lowdown on health sector in Alfred Nzo

 An Eastern Cape hospital is so overcrowded that patients with different ailments and illnesses, including “high risk” mental health patients, are accommodated in one ward.
An Eastern Cape hospital is so overcrowded that patients with different ailments and illnesses, including “high risk” mental health patients, are accommodated in one ward. Picture FILE

Some of the 21 visited health facilities experienced severe staff shortages, lax security measures, leaking roofs, “unreliable” ablution facilities, dilapidated infrastructure, a poor filing system and inconsistent delivery of medication, among others. Thirteen unknown bodies have not been identified at the KwaBhaca government mortuary.

This is according to Bhisho legislature’s health portfolio committee, which has raised concerns about the embarrassing state of some provincial health facilities in Alfred Nzo district. During their recent visit to Mount Ayliff Hospital, the committee found that space constraints at the hospital were hampering delivery of decent healthcare services.

The committee found that lack of space in the rural hospital also resulted in poor management of patient files, thus exposing them to theft and misplacement.

In their report tabled during a recent house sitting, the committee chaired by ANC MPL Mxolisi Dimaza said such a situation also exposed the hospital “to litigious claims”.

As a result, Dimaza’s committee gave the provincial health department until next month to come up with plans on how they will address space challenges at the Mount Ayliff Hospital.

During their oversight sojourn, Dimaza’s committee visited five hospitals and 14 clinics in the district.

They also visited the health department’s emergency medical services’ centre in Matatiele and the KwaBhaca’s forensic pathology services centre.

At the Taylor Bequest Hospital in Mount Fletcher, Dimaza’s committee found that the hospital was “very old and some buildings no longer suitable for health service delivery”.

“Wards in this facility are overcrowded.”

He said there was also a shortage of medical equipment such as those required for treating fractures, while there was no functioning ultra-sound machine.

At the Siphethu Hospital in KwaBhaca, the committee found that the hospital did not have “proper and reliable” ablution facilities.

“Wards in this facility are overcrowded.”

The committee also found that Siphethu had a high vacancy rate, “especially with regard to critical posts such as those of pharmacists, radiographers and dieticians”.

“There is also a dumping site nearby which might pose a health hazard to the hospital community,” Dimaza said.

At Madzikane kaZulu Hospital, also in KwaBhaca, the committee found that the patient file management system “is in a very poor state” and that as a control measure against litigation claims, posed a challenge.

At the Maluti Community Health Centre it was discovered that ablution facilities were shared by both males and females.

At Sebeni Clinic in Umzimvubu, Dimaza’s committee found that the clinic operates on “loaned staff”.

In KwaBhaca’s Dungu Clinic, the roof was found to be leaking, while at nearby Mtwana Clinic, it was discovered that water supply was a challenge as the clinic was dependent on water tanks which during dry periods posed a health risk.

At the Mount Frere Gateway Clinic it was discovered that fire extinguishers had expired in 2015 and had not been serviced ever since.

Dimaza’s committee also discovered that there were no “response vehicles” for Mzamba, KwaBhaca, Greenville, Isiphethu and Ntabankulu as some of the ambulances were in for repairs, some in KwaZulu-Natal. — asandan@dispatch.co.za

By Asanda Nini – DispatchLIVE

http://www.dispatchlive.co.za/news/2017/10/21/lowdown-health-sector-alfred-nzo/

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