Community and EFF members threaten to shutdown Khayelitsha District Hospital if the service it provides does not improve.
About 50 members of the Economic Freedom Fighters delivered a memorandum of demands to the Khayelitsha District Hospital calling for better services from the hospital. The party had declared at the beginning of the year that it intends making healthcare a focus of 2018. The protest followed a visit from the parliamentary Select Committee on Petitions and Executive Undertakings, led by chairperson Dumisani Ximbi earlier this month.
Before the memorandum was handed to the District Labour Relations Officer, Nkosithemba Mbobo, some community and EFF members recounted their experiences of bad service at the six-year-old hospital.
Palesa Mvinjelwa shared her story of how, when she broke her middle finger, she went to the hospital only to be attended in a corridor by a doctor. “At this hospital you need to keep quiet and accept bad treatment from staff otherwise you won’t get service. I came here at 12 midday and I left at midnight. The doctor just checked my finger and I was given painkillers and they bandaged my finger with cellotape and told me to come back the next day after I spent 12 hours at the hospital, ” she said.
Simphiwe Mdluli from Ilitha Park said that in November last year he phoned the hospital for an ambulance and was made to wait for a whole day. “I was told to go wait at a certain spot but the ambulance never came. The hospital kept saying that I should wait. If they don’t take our demands seriously, we will close this hospital,” he said.
A frequent complaint from community members was that they were made to wait at the trauma unit of the hospital. In his oversight visit, Dumisani Ximbi told Elitsha that he met patients who were sleeping on the floor at the trauma unit waiting for the doctor. “They told me that they have been there for more than 12 hours and have not gotten food from the hospital,” he said.
Ximbi also said that the shortage of staff at the hospital resulted from the failure to replace workers who had been fired.
Reading the memorandum, Nosipho Makamba-Botya said that another problem at the hospital is the multiple prescription of the same medication to one patient. “This seems to be a problem in the Western Cape because we were told and witnessed the same thing at Grabouw Clinic,” she said.
EFF leader in the Western Cape, Bernard Joseph said that they won’t sit back as the human rights of people in the area are trampled upon.