Critical Patients Turned Away Due to Broken Equipment

Desiree van der Walt MPL

DA Limpopo Health spokesperson

Patients are being turned away because the radiation theatre in Letaba hospital has all but totally collapsed. This is not withstanding the fact that a machine was purchased for this hospital from overseas but it cannot be serviced here. My unannounced oversight visit to this hospital in Mopani district on Wednesday revealed a shocking state of affairs at hospital.

A question which needs to be asked is how an agreement was reached to purchase this machine without there being a proper agreement to service it. This puts the people who use this hospital at great peril.

The patients who have fractures cannot be scanned to get their X-Ray readings and without these they cannot be operated. The nurses now have to resort to transporting the patients to another hospital, which is about 20 kilometres away.

To put this in context, it means a patient that is urgently in need of an operation, must be transported away from Letaba hospital to the other hospital. They are escorted by the nurses, whose is already critical at this hospital. This also endangers the lives of the patients.

Another source of concern was the fact that the ventilation machines were not maintained. This exposes the patients, particularly those at I.C.U to germs and extreme temperatures.

The Democratic Alliance will be writing to the MEC of Health, Dr. Norman Mabasa to ask him to urgently intervene to help with the conditions at the hospital.

A properly working health care system is a constitutionally enshrined right. The situation at Letaba Hospital requires immediate attention.

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