Jack Bloom MPL
DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
Early morning patients have been forced to queue outside the Steve Biko Hospital in Pretoria following the introduction of a new patient management system.
Many patients arrive as early as 4 am in the morning in order to be first in the queue for medicines or to see a doctor.
Whereas previously they could sit in the hospital, the doors now open only at 6.30 pm. They don’t have chairs or access to the toilets.
Elderly and disabled patients are forced to stand for long periods outside the hospital, leading to much distress.
There are tales of hardship detailed in an online report by Maroela Media (see www.maroelamedia.co.za) together with photographs.
Patients complain that the new electronic patient flow system which involves the issuing of ticket numbers is not reducing long waiting times.
Some patients wait for up to six hours even though they arrive early in the morning.
Hospital management needs to sort out teething problems with the new queue management system and should allow early morning patients to queue inside the hospital.
It is really inhumane for patients to be forced to queue outside, exposed to the weather and without chairs or toilet facilities.