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PATIENTS at Kgapane Hospital outside Modjadjiskloof in Limpopo claim that they are forced to wait for hours for medical attention while doctors attend to private matters during hospital hours.
The disgruntled patients say they have to visit the hospital on more than two occasions before they get medical attention.
They accuse some doctors of leaving the hospital to attend to personal matters without informing hospital management.
A source told Sowetan that very sick patients, who are brought to the hospital by ambulance from far-flung clinics, are left unattended for many hours. It is also alleged that some patients are turned back from the hospital by nurses because there are no doctors on duty.
Some patients also accuse the hospital's gynaecologist of charging patients high consultation fees. They allege that some patients have been charged close to R1500. They allege that this figure is more than that is charged by private practitioners.
"The doctors' attitude to their patients is disgraceful. We try to pull our weight but the doctors are not making it easy," said a nurse who refused to be named.
Some patients claim that they arrive at the hospital at 6am but only get to see a doctor at about 4pm - more than eight hours later.
They say doctors spend the time working in their private surgeries and only come to the hospital after they have closed their businesses.
Provincial health and social development spokesperson Selby Makgotho said the department had already launched an investigation into these allegations.
He promised that action would be taken against any doctor found to have abandoned or neglected their duty.