Picture: Sandile Ndlovu/African News Agency (ANA)
Durban - Patients at the 17-storey Addington Hospital are waiting up to 45 minutes to get upstairs for treatment because the lifts are not working - again.

Wayne Twynham, who accompanied his 72-year-old uncle, who has had one leg amputated, said many patients who were unable to wait to use the one working lift had abandoned their appointments on Wednesday.

“We came here early and had to wait at least 45 minutes to use the lift. I cannot carry my uncle as he is in a wheelchair. Imagine how people feel coming from afar to be treated like this,” he said.

Another amputee, Bhekabe Kubo, 56, said he had come for physiotherapy but had nearly turned back due to frustration over using the lift.

“Most of the people who came here today were using crutches and wheelchairs, but they had to wait a long time to be attended to,” he said.

Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA spokesperson Mandla Shangase said he was concerned that the lift issue had not been dealt with.

“The lifts are very old and are not being maintained. It must frustrate patients,” he said.

Health Department spokesperson Noluthando Nkosi said that according to Addington’s management, the institution was experiencing problems with four front lifts after the flooding of a water tanker situated above the lift shaft.

“A team of engineers was sent on site on Wednesday (yesterday), assessed the damage and began fixing the problem. The hospital is still accepting both walk-in and emergency medical services patients. Two other lifts are still functional, with one being used by patients while another is used to deliver food to patients,” she said.

However, only one lift was operational when the Daily News visited the hospital on Wednesday.

Daily News