With the increased number of patients forced to use Marantha Clinic in Brandfort, staff members are overwhelmed.
Apart from the increased workload, the clinic has also been operating without the supply of drinking water. According to a local councillor, Tihedi Moahi the clinic has been operating without water because the Jojo tank was burnt last year during a community protest.
A data clerk at the clinic, Mapaseka Mokwena, tells OurHealth that she used to register less than 80 patients a day and most were already captured on the computer system. Now she says she registers over 180 patients a day. “The workload is too much and I have to drink pain killers every day because my body cannot take it anymore. Even if they [Department of Health] say I should resign today, I will gladly do so,” says Mokwena.
According to the Free State Department of Health, it increased the working hours for staff at Marantha Clinic from eight hours to 11 hours a day and maintains that “with the co-operation of booked clients, patient flow is manageable”.
Difficult conditions to work under
According to staff, patients aren’t making it easy for them to do their work. Moahi, who is also the chairperson of the clinic committee, says the clinic staff complain about the noise that patients make inside the clinic.
He says nurses aren’t able to concentrate and face intimidation when they ask the patients to speak softer.
“The noise is too loud for the staff and there have been incidences of nurses who were insulted by patients.” However, the Free State Department of Health says no grievances were received from the clinic staff about patients being unruly.
Free State Department of Health spokesperson, Palesa Matee, says a local area manager is responsible for visits and goes to the clinic every second week.
“The area manager receives daily reports from the clinic and the alleged incidents of insulting nurses were not reported to her or district management,” she says.