Damage and dirt prevail

Dan Mosena chairs the board and headed the investigation. They inspected the hospital and found that:

Dan Mosena chairs the board and headed the investigation. They inspected the hospital and found that:

l The boiler was not working because there was no coal. As a result there was no hot water for the patients;

l There were too few mortuary drawers and they were dirty;

l The kitchen area was not clean and most appliances were not working; the hospital was not sticking to the prescribed diet for patients due to budgetary constraints; drains were blocked and smelly; the kitchen was infested with cockroaches, and the cooking conditions were unhygienic. The cold room was not working either.

l Both male and female wards have no proper ventilation because the air conditioners are broken; there is a serious shortage of linen and what is available is dirty and old. Water pipes in the wards leak and there is no blood warmer. Because the wards are too hot and uncomfortable patients end up going outside, with drips.

l In the theatre the lights are not working.

l In the maternity and labour wards, there is an extreme shortage of staff, especially midwives.

The task team recommended that:

l The hospital should be provided with doctors, nurses, social workers and other professionals as soon as possible;

l The technical division should be beefed up to improve service delivery;

l Improve staffing to improve delivery;

l Bedding and linen be replaced as a matter of urgency;

l The kitchen staff be retrained to promote the health of patients;

l Hospital management be disciplined for dereliction of duty and where necessary be restructured.

l Communication between the hospital and community be improved; and

l The hospital should be given preference in terms of resource allocation in the 2008-09 budget.

Mosena said the department of health always blamed the shortage of doctors as the main problem.

"When we approach the department, they always send us from pillar to post. While he understands that the two doctors who see more than 200 patients a day are overwhelmed, management was doing very little to remedy the situation. He sited an example of how a contractor was paid R80000 to fix the boiler, which was still not working.