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Kuruman Hospital introduces patient transport overnight accommodation

patient transport overnight accommodation
Two new park homes outside Kuruman Hospital The two new park homes are equipped with equipped with beds, showers and toilets
Written by Mpho Lekgetho

For some rural patients, hundreds of kilometres and long nights spent sleeping in the cold can stand between them and care for complicated illnesses like cancer and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB). One Northern Cape hospital is making the journey a little easier.

patient transport overnight accommodation

The two new park homes are equipped with equipped with beds, showers and toilets

In many places, care for complicated illnesses such as cancer and even DR-TB remain centralised at provincial or specialist hospitals.

To reach these services, many rural patients must travel to their nearest local hospital to catch patient transport buses that will ferry them to the larger specialist or provincial hospitals farther afield for treatment.

In areas of the Northern Cape, patients seeking treatment including chemotherapy and hysterectomies must travel about 230 km from Kuruman to Kimberley for such care. These patients must arrive at Kuruman Hospital the afternoon before their bus patient transport shuttle leaves for Kimberley Provincial Hospital the next morning at 3 am.

For those already suffering from debilitating illnesses, this meant spending a cold night sleeping on the floor until now.

The John Taolo Gaetsewe Developmental Trust recently donated two park homes equipped with beds, showers and toilets to Kuruman Hospital.

“The hospital had cases where patients slept on floors and benches,” said the trust’s communications officer Modiri Gabaatlhole in a statement. “These desperate patients are now using the park homes.”

Launched in 2002 by former Minister of Minerals and Energy Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the trust funds projects in the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality.

Patients can now sleep in the park homes before departing early from Kuruman Hospital or returning late from the provincial hospital to ensure they do not have to travel in the middle of the night or sleep on the floor.

Patrick Mosime regularly attends the provincial hospital for chemotherapy and said the park homes have made a big difference to him and others.

More than 165 villages surround Kuruman and the farthest villages among these can be hundreds of kilometres away from the town and only accessible via poor roads. – Health-e News.

An edited version of this story was also published on Health24.com

About the author

Mpho Lekgetho

Mpho Lekgetho is our citizen journalists based in Kuruman at the John Taolo Gaetsewe District in the Northern Cape. She has a qualification in Industrial Psychology from Unisa. Mpho is a former radio presenter at Kurara community radio station. She is currently working as a data collector for HSRC and is also a chairperson of the JTG Civil Society Forum and co-chairs District Aids Council.

1 Comment

  • Great initiative. Would be wonderful if all rural hospitals could offer basic accommodation. Would make such a difference to rural people accessing health services.

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