Service delivery remains poor at Limpopo hospital

Disgruntled patients claim ill treatment and long waiting hours at Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital. Photo: Ndivhuwo Mukwevho/Health-e

For years patients at the Louis Trichardt Memorial hospital have faced problems such as ill-treatment from nurses, long waiting hours, staff shortages, and overcrowding. 

When Health-e News visited the hospital this week, a patient, Azwinndini Mudau says that the poor treatment and bad attitude from most nurses is one of the challenges they continue to face at the facility. 

“Some of us have grown tired of complaining about the poor service we continue to receive at this hospital. The attitude of most nurses is very bad and they aren’t even afraid to shout at patients.

“If you come here during the week, you can wait many hours before you’re can be seen by a doctor or nurse and it is so painful,” she says. 

 “If you come here on a Friday, you’re bound to spend the entire weekend without being seen by a doctor until Monday,” says Frank Munzhedzi, another patient who recently visited the hospital.

“Knowing that the hospital is situated in the centre of one of the biggest towns, Louis Trichardt, one might think that the service here will be one of the best, but I think it’s one of the worst in the province.”

Most people, Munzhedzi adds, have stopped going to the hospital to seek medical services because of the ill-treatment received.

Previous incidents 

Earlier this year, Mabula Maboyi (35) spent weeks at Louis Trichardt Memorial Hospital with a broken piece of needle inside her hand before she was transferred to Tshilidzini Hospital where she had to wait over three months for the needle to be removed. 

“The service at both hospitals is very poor as one can even die while waiting to bee seen by a doctor, especially in Louis Trichard Memorial Hospital where I think they are faced with a shortage of doctors,” says Maboyi. 

In 2016 Health-e reported on how a young mother, Mukhethwa Nemakhavhani suffered pain and bleeding for months after she was badly stitched after giving birth at the Louis Trichardt Memorial hospital and she had to go back three times and on each occasion, the stitching was badly redone and pulled out before she healed properly. 

Last month, Health-e reported that the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), visited the hospital after a nurse was captured on video insulting a patient in the maternity ward.

New management 

Last year, the provincial department of health suspended hospital CEO Dr Irene Malatji after she was accused of corruption, maladministration and nepotism. 

Current acting CEO, Khensani Lettie Ramaru, says the hospital keeps on improving its services and she’s happy with the progress. 

“We are a small hospital so when there is an emergency and we end up admitting an influx of patients. We normally transfer some to nearby hospitals to avoid overcrowding. In terms of service delivery, we are improving each day, for example, we have managed to reduce patient waiting hours from four to less than two,” says Ramaru. 

Ramaru says the provincial department of health is handling the case of the nurse captured on a video insulting a patient. 

“Regarding the incident, the matter is being handled by the department. I can confidently assure our patients that we value their health and we’re always willing to provide better services to them,” she adds. – Health-e News


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