This week the legislature’s portfolio committee on health visited the hospital after reports on the SABC last week showing that patients are forced to sleep on the floor. HOD of health, Duduzile Mdluli agrees to answer about the worsening state of Witbank hospital.
013NEWS – We saw on the news the report about the state of the hospital, most people find it hard to find beds and it has been said that government is building a new hospital, why the delay?
Duduzile Mdluli – I must say that there are no delays. We are going according to the plan. Currently we are busy with design and planning. Last year we were busy with clinical briefings which were briefings about what the hospital should look like.
013NEWS – The quality of services that are being rendered at the hospital, last year we raised this with MEC of Health Sasekani Manzini. People come to the hospital to get some procedure done and then when they leave the patients leave with bigger problems. For example, there is a young lady aged 23 who came here for ceaserian section and she left with a raptured bladder and there are many patients who had similar complaints about the hospital service.
Mdluli – Adverse events are there. They do happen and most of them happen because of the skill. We don’t have enough qualified specialists but whenever we receive a complaint as a department we do investigate and find out what went wrong and then we come up with some sort of interventions to see if we need people to be sent for training and whether we need specialists and we advertise posts. But what I can say is that in most cases where people claim we have done wrong to them you find they are exaggerating but as a department we are following each and every complaint that has been made.
013NEWS – How about those complaints that are not being exaggerated
Mdluli – Where there are no exaggeration we make sure that we investigate so that the next person is not exposed to such. We have committees that sit and look at that.
013NEWS – So are you happy with the level of services being rendered?
Mdluli – Not at all. We have never been happy. We always want to see quality service for our patients, hence everyday we are trying to make sure that we improve. We are happy when people raise issues because to us it says that we need to improve. We encourage people to use all the systems that we have put it place for complaints so that we are able to correct what we are doing that is not right.
013NEWS – And how about the general condition of the hospital, it is very poor. It’s unkept, it’s unmaintained. What is the reason for this because it doesn’t take much to have a clean environment because Batho Pele starts when people feel the level of dignity when they walk into the hospital.
Mdluli – True. One of the contributory factors is the number of cleaners, the number of groundsmen that we have they are not adequate and we don’t have adequate budget as we know that as a country the economy is down. Therefore it means that even with us the money that we are getting is very little. So instead of us appointing many cleaners we rather buy medicines so that people get medicine. Anyway, EPWP has given us a grant, so we will use that money to appoint more cleaners.