‘I spent 2 days sleeping in a chair’
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‘I spent 2 days sleeping in a chair’

Jan 14, 2024

Posted by Precious Mashiane | Aug 31, 2023 | News, OurHealth | 0 |

Jubilee District Hospital in Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, is stretched and doesn’t have the capacity to take care of a growing population. Communications officer, Moses Seete, says the hospital serves patients from more than 20 villages between Gauteng and Northwest provinces.

“The needs simply exceed our resources,” he says.

Thirty-year-old Koketso Chabalala was mugged and stabbed on a Friday night in mid-August. She sustained a head injury during the incident. Bystanders called an ambulance and she was soon transported to the nearby Jubilee district hospital. But that’s where the efficiency ended.

“I spent two days sleeping on a chair. The drip that I had was the one put in by the paramedics when they took me to the hospital. After the paramedics left me in the emergency room it was as if I didn’t exist. No one came to check up on me,” she recalls.

Chabala was not admitted. She received stitches and was sent home three days later.

Health-e News received the photos below from a patient who was at the hospital in mid-August. They show people wearing blankets sitting on waiting room chairs, some of the patients are sitting in wheelchairs while others are sleeping on blankets on the floor.

Forty-year-old Charles Maepa was transferred to the hospital from his local clinic after being told that he has an enlarged liver. At the hospital, Maepa’s blood was drawn and he waited in the emergency room for four days before being admitted as a patient at the hospital.

“I was in pain and couldn’t eat properly. When I asked for updates they told me that they are waiting for blood results to come back, until then there is nothing they can do,” Maepa says. “What is worse is that if you are not admitted, you don’t get food. This means if there is no one from your family that knows that you are in hospital you will probably die of hunger.”

Maepa was eventually admitted and discharged after six days, he is currently going for regular check ups at the hospital.

Hospital communications officer, Seete, explains that patients are treated according to priority. Emergency cases are treated immediately. “Most patients who wait longer do not belong at the casualty ward,” he says.

“The problem of patients sleeping on the floor is beyond us. We need extra staff to have additional wards, and that is dependent on whether the powers that be approve or not.”

Seete further explains that the hospital only provides food for patients who are admitted into the hospital. As a level 1 facility Jubilee has limited specialists to deal with complicated conditions.

“There’s no problem at our lab. The waiting times for results depend on the test request. We are a district hospital, with limited scope for tests. Some tests are meant for academic hospitals, hence we send tests to Dr George Mukhari Hospital.” – Health-e News.

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Left unattended Level 1 hospital