Health centre boycotted

Michael Sakuneka

Michael Sakuneka

Two weeks after proclaiming Duiwelskloof Hospital in Modjadjiskloof a health centre, residents have started boycotting services.

The provincial health department officially proclaimed the hospital a health centre on October 1.

A staff member, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the number of patients had dropped by half in the past two weeks. He said this has resulted in staff sitting around and playing cards.

Some residents are going to private doctors because they fear inferior treatment and services.

"We would like the department to conduct public hearings to find out what the masses want and not to dictate to them," said the source.

People were unhappy that the conversion occurred without their being consulted.

The hospital was built in 1921 as a malaria centre.

Pieter van Niekerk, a former hospital board member who does not support the move, said people should have been consulted.

Health spokesman Phuti Seloba said treatment and standards would not deteriorate.