Durban - KwaZulu-Natal's health MEC, Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, said on Friday that citizens experiencing poor service from healthcare facilities should lodge complaints.
"Every patient or relative who is aggrieved about the level of care they receive must lodge a complaint through the operations manager (in the case of clinics); a hospital PRO, CEO or - if it is after hours - the matron in charge," said Dhlomo.
He made the statement following a viral video clip of a woman and her sick child being ignored at the Limit Hill Clinic in Ladysmith.
The video showed the woman trying numerous times to get the attention of a receptionist and nurses as her child was heard crying in the background. Her requests to meet with the clinic manager were also ignored.
In an emailed statement, Dhlomo said he saw the video on Thursday and visited the clinic on Friday accompanied by management of its mother facility, Ladysmith Hospital.
“We admit that we could have handled the situation better,” said Dhlomo.
“The first part that is abnormal is the failure by our staff members to give the client information that they were going to call the receptionist on time. Although these staff members are not necessarily stationed at reception, they could have assisted and told the patient that they would have been attended to. They failed to do that. And later on, you notice that there was an interaction that was not professional from one of our staff members, which is something that we do not condone,” he said.
He called on patients and health professionals to always seek common ground and respect each other.
“We want to continue to impress it upon our staff members to improve their professional relationships with clients. We would like to apologise to the public and ask them not to hold this incident against the entire staff of Limit Hill Clinic."
Clinic management, assisted by Ladysmith Hospital, were "handling the matter", he said.
African News Agency (ANA)