Langa Bodlani (MPL)
Spokesperson on Health
Mentally ill patients at Thabamoopo Psychiatric Hospital in Lebowakgomo live under bad conditions which can only be described as a human rights violation.
This was uncovered yesterday during an oversight I undertook with DA councillor Fani Tsela. This is the first in a series of province wide unannounced visits to public health care centres to highlight the state of affairs.
Patients at the female chronic ward do not have hot water and have to go the other ward to share one shower. This situation has endured for a long time including during cold winter seasons.
At this ward almost all toilets have not been working since 2012.
Doors and windows are broken which causes leaks when it rains.
The male chronic ward which has about 83 patients also has no flushing toilet.
To make matters worse for the nurses, some of the wards do not have BP and oxygen machines which make it difficult for them should a patient’s condition deteriorate and need immediate medical attention.
Other wards do not have telephones and nurses cannot do their jobs properly especially during night times. The generator does not reach to some of the wards in cases of power failure.
These patients are the most vulnerable members of our society and all measures must be taken to make sure that they are cared for. A society’s progress is measured by how much it cares for its most vulnerable.
I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the SA Human Rights Commission with the view to urge it to undertake its own oversight to Thabamoopo.
The DA salutes all the nurses and other staff at this hospital who are having to endure working under extremely difficult conditions in caring for our ill.