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PIETERMARITZBUR - Staff attitude at KwaZulu-Natal healthcare facilities; and inadequate care of patients including failure to guarantee confidentiality, especially to HIV positive patients may lead to many defaulting on their medication amid fear of stigma, the Public Services Commission (PSC) warned on Wednesday. 

The PSC warning followed an investigation into healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal stretching two and half years and covering 30 hospitals and clinics.

According to commissioner Dr Pearl Sithole the study was prompted by an observation of many complaints by the public through the media and complaints channels in the PSC. 

"These complaints ranged from alleged poor service, alleged poor professional conduct and care, and even alleged evidence of recklessness in core business of health care," she said.

She said that hospitals and clinics were sampled and inspected and the department was engaged at both district and provincial level.

"The analysis in this report indicates that no matter how thin or sufficient capacity is in public service, and in a sector like health, ignoring the human factor element in service delivery is a huge mistake. Mechanisms must be employed to ensure that professionalism, efficiency and humanness is restored and constantly cultivated in the public service."

Sithole warned that by failing to follow simple rules, the department was rendering itself vulnerable to lawsuit, as there were lawyers that were keen on making a quick buck. 

The report recommended a drastic change of institutional culture within the healthcare staff.  

"This is a department that purports to perform  care to the citizens on a daily basis. It cannot afford to have its administrative and management practitioners completely suffocating in a rigid system," said Sithole.  

The report has already been presented to Health MEC Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo and acting head of department Dr. Musa Gumede and health portfolio committee chairperson Yusuf Bhamjee.

African News Agency(ANA)