I VISITED my brother at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on Sunday.
This is a fairly new hospital and the building is beautiful. One of us commented that the hospital looked like a hotel or a shopping mall. And that was where the compliments stopped.
The service rendered by the staff is pathetic. One patient had not eaten since last Friday, though the doctors had given instructions that he should start eating solid meals from that day.
The patient said the doctor was shocked to hear that he had not been given food as instructed.
Another patient was supposed to have been operated on on Sunday afternoon, so he did not eat a solid meal that day. But due to another emergency operation this patient's operation was postponed until further notice.
Nobody informed him of the postponement and he was not given anything to eat either.
The other thing that attracted my attention was the dirt around the hospital.
The place looked as if it had never been cleaned since the hospital was opened.
When you walk along the corridors you cannot help but notice the dirt on the skirting boards.
I don't even want to mentioned the toilet I visited. It was disgusting. Some of the mess looked like old vomit that had not been properly cleaned.
We should not be surprised that the cause of death of the six babies who died at the Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg Hospital was a lack of basic cleanliness.
Many lives have been saved in caves and in tents. A beautiful building will not save lives. Total commitment to service, right from the hospital chief executive to the cleaners, is needed to help save lives.
Papla Appel, Eersterust