Transfer patients forced to sleep on floor
PATIENTS waiting to be referred from Nkhensani Hospital in Giyani, Limpopo, to other hospitals for specialised treatment are forced to sleep on the cold floor of the outpatients department (OPD) while waiting for an ambulance to transport them.
An on-the-spot investigation on Wednesday night at about 11pm revealed that patients, men and women, slept together on the floor and had to bring their own blankets from home.
"This is what we get from the government that we voted into power. It is sad because we can be raped as we sleep on the same cold floor next to men.
"Look there, a porter is also sleeping but he is better off because he is sleeping on a chair," said a patient, who asked not to be identified for fear of being victimised.
In fact a porter was sleeping on a chair next to patients.
Nurses were working in various wards and some told Sowetan there was nothing they could do for the people sleeping on the floor.
"We know about the people sleeping on the OPD floor but unfortunately there is nothing we can do to help them.
"Maybe since you are from the media you will bring some changes to this hospital. We even feel it would have been better had we still been working under the former Gazankulu homeland because this did not happen then," said a nurse, who was too scared to reveal her name.
Limpopo department of health spokesman Phuti Seloba was shocked to hear about the situation.
"Believe me, this is the first time I have heard about something like this. We will investigate and if we discover that the human rights of our people were compromised we will act accordingly," Seloba said yesterday.
He promised the matter would be investigated with immediate effect.
Nkhensani Hospital was recently in the news when an elderly woman died after allegedly being told by nurses to bathe in a bath of boiling water.
"The old woman story was the tip of the iceberg because many other shocking things (have) happened in this hospital over the years.
"Please come back later for more because if we reveal things now we might be seen doing so by management," another nurse said.
- Article first published in print 31 May 2012