KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo found patients sleeping on benches and the floor at the Church of Scotland Hospital during a surprise visit at the weekend.
Dr. Dhlomo’s visit on Sunday to the hospital in Umsinga uncovered the anomaly. The MEC instructed hospital management to find a decent place for patients to sleep when they are waiting overnight for transport to take them to other hospitals in Pietermaritzburg.
Among the waiting patients were a cancer patient and more than a dozen mothers and their children.
“I am surprised and angry that a matter we resolved long ago has not been carried out at this hospital. These patients have left their homes and come here so that they can be reviewed.District hospitals provide transport for them to tertiary hospitals,” said Dr. Dhlomo during his visit.
The MEC said apart from the poor arrangement for patients, he was not impressed with the state of cleanliness of the hospital.
“Today, I saw a patient, Mrs Mamizi Mkhize, who has advanced cancer. She is due to go for further treatment at Greys Hospital. I found her kneeling on the bench as she says she cannot put down her pelvis on the concrete floor,” said Dr Dhlomo.
“It was obvious if I had not arrived there, she was going to remain kneeling for the whole night. After the visit to Greys Hospital, if she comes back late at Msinga, she would sleep on the benches again.
“I ordered the hospital to find her a decent place to sleep together with more than a dozen of mothers taking their children to hospitals in Pietermaritzburg. If hospital management had been exposed to palliative care maybe they would have been sensitive to this need of our population.”