DOCtorS lament lack of support

DOCTORS in Limpopo said yesterday they were fighting a losing battle in saving the lives of poor people because of a lack of support from the provincial government.

The doctors, who met Premier Cassel Mathale, said there was either no equipment or those on the premises were dysfunctional.

Munyadziwa Kwinda, a medical doctor at the Donald Fraser Hospital outside Thohoyandou, told Mathale that if he did not intervene soon the health system will continue to collapse and fail to respond to the needs of the people in the province.

"The quality of the services that we are rendering to our people is so poor and we are expected to see more than 200 patients at a go," Kwinda said.

Mathale was also told that some of the patients who died in hospitals were not supposed to die but ended up dying because of the ailing system.

The doctors made an example of digitizers and X-ray machines as among the tools that are inadequate for their work

"The machines had been in the hospitals' theatres without being serviced," they said.

"These machines are unused in and no one is servicing them.

"Contracts to source the machines are awarded to people who know nothing about them .

"Please help stop these BEE things since the people are failing to service the machines and patients are the ones who suffer," said the doctors.

Mathale was told that Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission was failing because X-ray machines were nonfunctional.

As a result doctors are forced to take weekends off but are unable to rescue the situation.

They also said they were demoralised by the lack of support from the provincial department of health and social development.

Mathale promised to intervene and support them to render quality service to the people.

"We will walk side by side with you to solve the problems Mathale said.