by Isak Fritz, MPL – DA Spokesperson of Health
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Date: 20 April 2018
The DA condemns the inhumane conditions experienced by sick people who have to make use of Kimberley Hospital’s overnight accommodation at the department’s old “Harmony Home” facility.
An oversight visit to the centre this week has exposed the department as being unsympathetic to the needs of the Northern Cape’s most vulnerable people.
The overnight ward for female patients sees 20 people having to share a single toilet. There also appears to be no cleaners maintaining the facility and an elderly lady, who slept in the ward, took it upon herself to clean the filthy toilet.
Meanwhile, a 14-year old cancer patient from Victoria West, who was referred by Kimberley Hospital to Bloemfontein for chemotherapy, had to sleep on a yellow sponge mattress without any bedding. There is also no supervision in the ward, further placing young patients, such as herself, at risk. See photo here.
Patients also complained that they receive low quality, unappetizing, watered-down food. This is clearly not appropriate for sick people, least of all cancer patients, who require a well balanced-diet as part of their treatment regime.
The DA is deeply disappointed by the Health Department’s lack of care for patients who live out of town and have to travel to Kimberley for treatment. These people cannot afford private healthcare and have no choice but to make use of government services. They also have no money to pay for private accommodation when seeking medical treatment in Kimberley and are at the mercy of the Health Department.
The DA will write to provincial Health MEC Fufe Makatong, informing her of our findings and requesting that she institutes an urgent intervention. If it was her ill child, who was left to spend a cold night on a sponge mattress without a blanket and without supervision, I am sure she would not tolerate such heartless health services.
It is clear that our sick and vulnerable people deserve a Total Change in government and in health care provision, that will see them treated with the care and dignity they deserve.
Isak Fritz, MPL
DA Spokesperson of Health
083 395 2737
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387