Edenvale Hospital patients sleep on floor

Edenvale Hospital patients sleep on floorKwaZulu Natal Health Department is investigating patients complaints about health service delivery at Northdale Hospital. Photo: Sandile Mbili/ Health-e

Fazila Smith said she recently spent four days sleeping on the floor of Edenvale Hospital after being admitted for blood clots. Democratic Alliance Member of Provincial Legislature and Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom says Smith was not the only one.

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A shortage of beds at the 230-bed East Rand hospital has been blamed for the fact that patients are being treated on mattresses on the ground (File photo)
A shortage of beds at the 230-bed East Rand hospital has been blamed for the fact that patients are being treated on mattresses on the ground (File photo)

“I slept on the floor for four days,” said Smith, who suffers from a condition called deep vein thrombosis in which blood clots form in one or more deep veins. These clots can also travel to other parts of the body, such as the lungs where they can cause life-threatening blockages or pulmonary embolisms.

“The situation is very terrible,” she added. “I was only given a bed after Jack Bloom visited me.”

“The nurses (were) trying very hard to help us, but it is difficult for them as they have to work on their knees when they attend us,” Smith added. “The department of health must do something about this situation.”

According to Bloom, more than 40 patients with conditions such as meningitis and enlarged hearts were also lying on the floor when he visited the hospital recently. A 90-year-old woman also reportedly told Bloom she had been lying on the floor for several days.

According to a statement issued by Bloom, the situation stems from a shortage of hospital beds in the wards.

“It’s a shocking scene that has not improved over the years despite visits by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu and senior health officials,” Bloom said. “The situation has worsened with the recent closure of beds at the Selby Park Hospital as this has diverted more patients to Edenvale Hospital.”

“The hospital has only 230 beds and needs to double in size to meet the need,” he added.

The Gauteng Department of Health has denied that patients are sleeping on the hospital floor but said it is aware of overcrowding.

“Patients are not sleeping on the floor at casualty, but rather they are being nursed on mattresses in adjacent rooms next to casualty,” Gauteng Department of Health Spokesperson Steve Mabona told Health-e News.

He added that the hospital would be refurbished in the next financial year to alleviate overcrowding. – Health-e News.

An edited version of this story also appeared in The Star newspaper