Surprise visit to Themba Hospital opens MEC's eyes

Mpumalanga health MEC Sasekani Manzini dispensing medication at Themba Hospital.
Mpumalanga health MEC Sasekani Manzini dispensing medication at Themba Hospital.
Image: Mandla Khoza

Mpumalanga health MEC Sasekani Manzini was yesterday disappointed to find patients waiting for up to five hours for medication at the Themba Hospital in KaBokweni.

Manzini, who was on a surprise visit to the hospital, had to assist in easing the long queues by dispensing medication.

Frustrated patients complained to Manzini and her officials about dispensary staff treating them with contempt by, for example, being on their cellphones when they should be assisting patients.

"You need to instal cameras here so that you can see the reality we are facing every day here," said one patient, Zodwa Mona.

Manzini, who arrived at the hospital a few minutes after 4pm, found out that the director of the hospital pharmacy had left only three officials to deal with the long queues.

"I'm very disappointed. We have seen that on the casualty there are no people in line, the emergency side is also going well but here at the pharmacy that's where the problem is.

"We understand that they complain about staff shortages but with only about an hour here helping we managed to ease the line and the patients are happy. I will make sure that I come back here to monitor the situation. We have since called the manager of the pharmacy. We have spoken sense to him." said Manzini.

She said she will visit all the province's hospitals to find out what is troubling the public.

"This is one of many surprise visits to come around the province. We know that some staff members are not doing justice to the patients...

"You will know that we have a problem of infrastructure and staff shortage but with the little we have for now we believe people can be happy with the service; we just need to deal with some staff attitude.

"We'll add infrastructure and staff where there's a need."

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