Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde praised the staff of Khayelitsha District Hospital (KDH) for hard work over the festive season during an impromptu visit yesterday.
The visit was part of his regular community outreach and oversight functions to see how healthcare was delivered to the residents.
“We at the Western Cape Government (WCG) cannot express our gratitude enough. From the nurses and doctors to the administrative and cleaning staff, you all ensure this facility is run professionally and efficiently.
“Despite various challenges, KDH can be proud that you are all providing the best possible service for people accessing healthcare here. No patient will be refused emergency and basic medical care and treatment,” said the premier while on a tour of the paediatric unit.
Staff nurse Nolubabalo Sixishi told Winde that they needed more staff and ward capacity.
Winde said: “This is severely compounded by the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness facing in-year budget cuts to the tune of R121 987 million due to the centrally negotiated public wage deal, which provinces have been forced to fund,” he said.
He said the pressure on the hospital was not only determined by the number of people who depended on it, but also by the healthcare needs of the specific population.
“Khayelitsha faces a quadruple burden of disease, violence, trauma and injury,” said Winde.
Winde praised the staff who are working hard despite the hospital having its hands full with medical and trauma cases involving blunt assaults, accidental injuries, burn injuries and road traffic injuries.
“Exacerbating the situation is its inability to quickly fill critical positions due to the significant constraints on the budget, backlogged surgeries, and staff safety concerns resulting in shift cancellations.”
In the hospital’s Emergency Centre (EC), Dr Crispin Kibamba told Winde that he and his team treat up to 3500 patients each month, 25% of these are trauma-related admissions. Over the last three weekends in January, nearly 700 patients were presented in the hospital’s EC, making it among the busiest in the Western Cape.