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MEC visits day hospitals

Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha has set himself a three-month deadline to tackle issues.

FILE: Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha has set himself a three-month deadline to tackle issues. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Health MEC Theuns Botha has set himself a three-month deadline to tackle issues plaguing various day hospitals.

On Wednesday, he conducted surprise visits to several community health clinics following patient complaints.

Botha noted several issues had to be tackled at the ageing Gugulethu Community Health Clinic so that services could be improved.

Sister Miriam Pienaar appealed to the MEC for a security upgrade.

"It is not safe to work here. One patient broke a window because he didn't want to wait in the queue. He had a panga."

Pienaar dismissed claims doctors and nurses verbally abused patients.

"There is really no abuse."

Botha was surprised at the antiquated system of finding patient files in a room with thousands of records.

"We must change the filing system here. They can't work under these conditions."

He also promised to sort out perceived shortages of doctors, nurses and the dwindling stock of dressings and bandages.

"There's a shortage everywhere. We've got a vacancy rate of below four percent in the province, which is absolutely remarkable for a staff component of 30,000 people."

The MEC adds it is unacceptable for hospitals to run short of essential stock.

"I'm very concerned about stock shortages that they've told me about. It shouldn't be like that. Those issues must be addressed. The SMS line must also be implemented so that we have real-time solutions."

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