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Khayelitsha hospital 'failing the people', says parliamentary committee

“Don’t hide from the fact that you are failing the people of Khayelitsha”. The Times reports that this is what ward councillor Patrick Mngxunyeni had to say to Anwar Kharwa‚ CEO of the Khayelitsha District Hospital‚ during a recent parliamentary oversight visit to the facility. The Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings paid an unannounced visit to the hospital after receiving complaints from the public about the service they received there.

The report says Mngxunyeni did not mince his words: “If there is a staff shortage‚ you need to confront it. We need to service people and confront issues instead of blaming. Why are people sitting here for more than five hours. We can’t go back to the community again and again on issues they have raised. It is clear that there is a backlog. That needs to change.”

Emergency room physician Hendrick Lategan said the hospital serviced three areas which included Khayelitsha‚ Mitchells Plain and Mfuleni. Over weekends the emergency room was inundated with patients. “On Monday we had 41 children in the ER. Trauma cases pick up over the weekend and slows down by Monday. We have a high proportion of very ill patients. Trauma is the highest death rate at the hospital. The hospital is very busy‚” he said.

Lategan added that the hospital needed more beds. Scores of patients were using chairs owing to the bed shortage. He also said the ER was the busiest in the province‚ which resulted in a heavy burden on staff. Staff shortages were already a challenge at the hospital.

Committee chair Dumisani Ximbi raised the fact that a member of the public had been waiting since Wednesday to see a doctor.

Mngxunyeni said in the report that the problems raised had been raised in the past. “People are given the wrong medication and I don’t know whether it is staff incompetence‚” he said.

“We have memorandums that we handed over with tangible issues. The wrong medication resulted in deaths. Don’t hide from the fact that you are failing the people of Khayelitsha. You are failing us as leaders. The hospital outside is beautiful‚ but come inside the service is (terrible)‚” said Mngxunyeni.

The report says Kharwa assured members of the committee during their inspection that interventions to address complaints at the hospital were “imminent”.

[link url="https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-04-12-khayelitsha-hospital-complaints-interrogated/"]The Times report[/link]

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