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Patients wait hours for medication

An irate patient stood waiting for hours to receive her medication in a Cape Town hospital.

Patients claim they are waiting hours for medicine.

CAPE TOWN - An irate patient on Monday said she stood waiting for more than four hours to receive her medication at the Lady Michaelis Orthopaedic Hospital in Plumstead.

Patricia Shepherd said there were hundreds of people waiting in line.

"I got here at about 7:30am, but I'm still waiting for medication amongst thousands of people."

Shepherd said nobody could tell them why the process was taking so long.

She said it appeared there was a staff shortage.

"There are lots of people who need medication and there's no one to update us on what is going on."

The state of the country's public hospitals has been in the spotlight lately.

Many patients are forced to stand in long queues while others are forced to return home without their medication.

In April, chronic patients were forced to go for days without their prescribed medication.

They had to stand in long queues for days to get medication.

The provincial Health department said the new contractor was experiencing some "technical glitches."

On 1 April, UTi Pharma took over the management of the Chronic Dispensing Unit (CDU) from Institutional Pharmacy Management (IPM) whose five year contract had come to an end.