Neglected patient over- night facility shocks

Community News

The DA condemns the inhumane con-ditions 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 last week by the DA Spokesperson of Health Isak Fritz, MPL, 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 toi-let. 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 che-motherapy, 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.
Patients also complained that they receive low quality, unappetising, watered-down food. This is clearly not appropriate for sick people, least of all, cancer patients, who re-quire 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 can-not afford private healthcare and have no choice but to make use of government ser-vices. They also have no money to pay for private accommodation when seeking medi-cal 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 their find-ings 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, the DA is sure that she would not tolerate such heartless health services.
It is clear that 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 de-serve.