Ons lesers skryf – Hospital a disgrace

I read a heartbreaking story of cancer patient Tracey Classens of Thabazimbi in Die Kwêvoël issue of July 16, 2010. This hospital is indeed a disgrace to our community and it must definitely be the worst hospital in regard to service perhaps in the entire province or even the whole country. The virus of doctors not being around is happening on a daily basis and has been like that for the past few years. I also received a terrible treatment some months ago, here is the story:

The drama unfolded on a Sunday afternoon until the next day, my teammate broke a leg (2 bones completely apart) during a soccer match and had to be rushed there. I contacted the hospital to inform them about the incident and I was told people will be waiting, upon arrival; there was no one there to help us move the patient to the casualty ward. We had to drive in and park where ambulances do for emergencies.   Some nurses were even surprised to see us pushing the hospital bed heading to the ward and started shouting. We had to wait for about an hour before we were told that there was no doctor on duty, no medication will be provided and an x-ray won’t be performed as no one work on Sundays in that particular department. At the time, the poor guy was in tears and his leg was swollen!  You can imagine our reaction after hearing horrible news like that, we then told the nurses that the police station is our only hope. Fearing for their so called credibility, we were told to wait because a doctor was called. Another hour passed before he could arrive and during that time, we never even saw a single nurse. The doctor prescribed only painkillers because he couldn’t assess the injury without an x-ray. We had to return again the next day before 08:00.

We arrived at the hospital just after 07:30 and the casualty ward was already buzzing with patients, at least there were 2 doctors working that morning. Waited until midday and no one even bothered to ask us anything, I decided to ask nurses at the Nurses Room about it but I was told that it was not their ‘operational section’ and have to wait in the queue like everybody else. They were on lunch and changing shifts! By that time it was just the 2 of us.

New shift came through but again, no one bothered to attend us. I was now fed up and started asking around for the hospital manager, I was send from pillar to post until I bumped to the guy in the foyer. I explained the whole ordeal and he immediately demanded answers from the nurses, their excuses, they knew nothing because the morning shift didn’t hand over anything to them. Bear in mind that the drama happened while I was accompanying a guy with 2 broken leg bones, not shattered but completely broken! After an x-ray and check up, a plaster had to be wrapped around his leg; it was 14:00 by that time. When we thought things will go quickly, we had to wait another hour because the storeroom manager was on lunch and the correct size couldn’t be found. Then, the doctor had to leave urgently to attend an emergency at home (in Pretoria) and had to wait for another doctor. We left the hospital after 16:00.

The poor guy was given a clean bill of health at the hospital after the cast was removed but sadly he’s no longer going to play soccer because his leg is skew!!! This is the sort of treatment the disadvantaged people have to endure in this hospital on a daily basis. Without medical aid, you’re in for a horrible experience at the provincial hospital because some staff are ill-mannered and careless about other people’s lives. I never thought I will experience something traumatic like this in a government institution.

Kind regards,

Samora Mataboge – Thabazimbi