Health MEC must immediately intervene in KwaMhlanga Hospital water crisis

By Jane Sithole, MPL, Spokesperson on Health and Social Development:

The DA is shocked to see the terrible state that KwaMhlanga Hospital in Thembisile Hani municipality is in.

According to the Sowetan newspaper, patients at the hospital have had to request their relatives to bring them water because the municipality is battling to supply water to the hospital. Some patients have not had their wounds cleaned or bandages changed since they were admitted days ago.

The newspaper further states that patients have complained of a lack of food forcing them to take medication on empty stomachs. It also details the unhygienic state that the hospital is in.

During an oversite visit conducted at the hospital by the DA earlier this month, we found that the hospital had severe staff shortages and was especially in need of general workers to do laundry and wash crockery. As a result, the hospital was relying heavily on volunteers to perform these jobs.

We also found that the severe shortage of water was impacting heavily on the operation of the Hospital which had to have its laundry done in Emalahleni municipality. This created a shortage of bedding and forced patients to bring their own blankets to cover themselves.

It is not the first time that KwaMhlanga hospital makes headlines for the wrong reasons.  The attitude of healthcare officials is another major concern as it appears that staff members are frustrated due to the challenges they have to deal with daily. The lack of water results in the entire hospital system coming to a standstill and officials are left to bear the brunt of the department’s inability to resolve this issue.

Water is a source of life and without water there can be no life and so too is the case with KwaMhlanga Hospital.  As such, the DA has written to Health MEC, Gillion Mashego, asking him to urgently intervene so that patients at KwaMhlanga hospital can receive dignified medical care and hospital staff can work under more acceptable conditions.

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