Outcry over bad state of hospitals

COMMUNITIES in the Waterberg region of Limpopo have accused the provincial department of health of neglecting them soon after the Soccer World Cup.

This was after two of Mokopane Hospital's main theatres were reported dysfunctional last week.

Most of the patients have since last week been referred to another hospital in the city.

The situation allegedly started on June 27.

"The primary problem with the hospital is that two of its main theatres, an operational theatre and general theatre, are not working," said resident Steven Ramokgopa.

Ramokgopa's words were echoed by a doctor attached to the hospital.

"The situation became unbearable for the hospital, resulting in nurses transporting other emergency patients to Voortrekker Hospital in town," said the doctor, who asked to remain anonymous.

"Those transported to the hospital were those with cancer, gynaecological problems and others who have been involved in accidents whose bones were broken, and those who needed operations."

The doctor said only patients seeking maternity attention at the hospital and those who needed medication were attended to by the hospital.

Provincial department spokesperson Roleta Lebelo said the situation was caused by the dysfunctional cooler system.

"For a theatre to function, it has to have a cooler system that functions into an optimum temperature," she said.

Lebelo said the situation had forced the hospital management to refer patients to other hospitals.

"We have already sent our technicians to the hospitals to attend to the problem as a matter of urgency," she said.

Meanwhile, a total of 33 psychiatric patients at Tshilidzini Hospital outside Thohoyandou were whisked away from the hospital yesterday following a mysterious fire that burnt their ward.

The fire was allegedly caused by a burning cigarette butt that was dropped by a visitor.

Lebelo said two male patients were in critical condition and were, with the rest of the patients, transferred to Siloam, Hayane and Donald Fraser hospitals in the Vhembe region.