Eastern Cape - Patients at the Cecilia Makiwane hospital waited for more than a day for medicine from the hospital's understaffed pharmacy, according to a report on Wednesday.

The Dispatch Online reported that pharmacists complained about “unbearable” working conditions caused by staff shortages.

Dr Rolene Wagner, Frere Hospital's CEO, confirmed that the Cecilia Makiwane hospital's pharmacy was operating with only half the 18 pharmacists and assistants it should have.

She said staff had been seconded from Frere to help with the load.

Some patients said they arrived before the pharmacy opened, but often left without being helped.

The pharmacists said efforts to talk to the hospital’s pharmacy managers had failed.

On Tuesday, more than 100 patients were waiting for medication. They said they had been waiting for hours.

The pharmacists were still serving patients left over from last week.

“We never finish with the patients. Every day it is crazy busy and when we get to work we have to finish up the undone work,” another pharmacist told the publication. - Sapa