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Bertha Gxowa Hospital responds to complaints

Prince Hamnca responds on behalf of Bertha Gxowa Hospital.

The Germiston City News recently published an article about the lack of doctors at the Bertha Gxowa Hospital (GCN February 27).

The article focused on conditions at the hospital, as described by 64-year-old Celeste Swart.

Among other things, Swart said since her admittance to the hospital on February 12, until February 16, she had seen a doctor only when she was being admitted to the surgical ward.

She also told the GCN that she was concerned about two male patients who used to walk up and down the hospital corridors, going into the different wards and bothering other patients.

“At times they had to be strapped to their beds and, at night, one of them would scream the word ‘fire’ repeatedly, at the top of his voice,” she said.

The GCN contacted the Gauteng Health Department regarding Swart’s allegations.

“Bertha Gxowa Hospital strives to provide the best medical care to the community in accordance with the Batho Pele Principles,” said the head of communications at the Gauteng Health Department, Prince Hamnca.

“On the days mentioned in the query (February 13 to 16), the medical officer who normally covers the surgical ward, where the patient was admitted, was unable to do the ward round at the expected time due to the fact that he was held up attending to other emergency surgical cases in the hospital.

“During this time there was clinical back-up if any problems arose with patients admitted to the ward.

”At no stage were the admitted patients neglected or any critical patients in danger.”

Hamnca added that patients admitted to the hospital are not attended to only by a doctor.

“Furthermore, the hospital wishes to state that all the patients are treated through a multi-disciplinary approach,” he explained.

“This implies that they are not solely in the care of the medical officer, but that there are other medical professionals involved, such as nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and clinical psychologists.”

Hamnca further elaborated on reasons why the patients, in the surgical ward had no doctor attend to them at the expected time.

“On Monday, February 16, the medical officer was able to do a ward round only in the evening, due to the fact that he was attending to other, more urgent cases admitted over the weekend,” he said.

“A more thorough ward round was done on Tuesday, February 17, when all the critically ill patients admitted over the weekend had been stabilised.

“The hospital wishes to reiterate that at no stage were the admitted patients neglected and without medical care, as the multi-disciplinary team was present throughout.”

Door bells not working in the surgical ward were among the allegations made by Swart, but, according to Hamnca’s response, that is not the case.

“The door bells are functional and patients are orientated on admission on how to use them,” he said.

“The department requests that patients who experience difficulties in any health institution report their concerns to the quality assurance officers based at all our institutions.

“If they are not satisfied they should report the problem to the facility managers (CEOs of the respective hospitals, or the clinic managers, as applicable).

“Their concerns will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

”Patients are also encouraged to lodge any complaints through our 24-hour call centre, on 0860 011 000.”

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