THE DEPARTMENT CALLS IT A HOSPITAL BUT THE PATIENTS CALL IT A NIGHTMARE. Patients claim they have to bring their own bedding and food. Sometimes they sleep in the corridors and even on the floor.
Many patients at Pholosong Hospital in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni in the East-Rand complain about the treatment at the hospital.
Patients claimed they were often made to sleep in the corridors and sometimes even had their meals there.
A photo made available to Daily Sun shows patients lying sleeping on stretchers in the passage, with buckets of medical waste stacked nearby.
Patients have to sleep in the corridors because the wards are full.
Pholosong takes care of about 900 000 people with patients coming from Tsakane, KwaThema and Duduza.
Tsietsi Bokaba (40), a mother of two, said her stay in the hospital was a nightmare.
“I was there for two days but it felt like two months.
“The nurses don’t care. There were people with drips sleeping and eating in the passage. The passage was their home. Some did not have beds to sleep on. Family members brought them blankets so they could sleep on the floor.”
She said there isn’t enough space for all the patients but she believes the hospital doesn’t want to transfer patients to other hospitals.
The situation at the hospital appears to have been like this for many months, with no sign of improvement.
Fazeela Fayers, spokeswoman for the Health and Other Services Personnel Trade Union of South Africa, said they are concerned about reports that patients were receiving medical treatment while lying on the floor. They believe mental patients are also sharing wards with physically ill patients.
“It is inhumane to subject patients to such dismal conditions. We strongly condemn the overcrowding at Pholosong Hospital which has compromised the delivery of efficient healthcare. We have written to the hospital’s CEO demanding answers, yet his office has ignored our request to meet,” said Fayers.
Prince Hamnca, spokesman for the Gauteng Department of Health, disputed that patients were treated on the floor or left in corridors.
“Due to high patient volumes at Pholosong Hospital, it does happen from time to time that a patient is attended to while on the stretcher as a temporary measure.
“However, no patient is treated while lying on the floor,” he said in an email to Daily Sun.
“On allegations of mismanagement at the hospital, we are going to engage the hospital management to ascertain the truth of such allegations.”