I recently spent a couple of days at a public hospital in Gauteng and, even though a doctor declared me sick, I went there with a rotten attitude. I went there thinking that when I got there, the staff, mostly made up of female nurses, should give me the royal treatment because that hospital is a public institution and I contribute a proportion of my salary to theirs.
I used to complain about the treatment patients receive in public hospitals. My ignorance and lack of knowledge, until I was recently a patient, blinded me to the challenges that the female staff at public hospitals are faced with daily.
Lack of resources meant for patients, unacceptable working conditions and low salaries for what they have to put up with are some of the notable challenges. Being a patient not only opened my eyes, but also made me realise how bad the situation is at public hospitals.
Because August is Women's Month and it's drawing to a close, all I am saying to everyone is that the female staff at our public hospitals really deserve to be applauded and patted on their backs for their hard work. This is because their working conditions are very challenging and their salaries are not a reflection of what they are doing.