Durban - During a surprise visit on Sunday to the Church of Scotland Hospital in Umsinga, KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo found patients sleeping on floor and benches.
According to Department of Health, the patients have been waiting overnight for transport to take them to hospitals in Pietermaritzburg the next day.
Dhlomo ordered management of Church of Scotland Hospital to find a decent place to house patients. .
He said hospital managers were expected to take charge of the health facilities entrusted upon them, and ensure that patients are treated humanely and with dignity.
Among them was a cancer patient and more than a dozen mothers and their children.
The MEC was upset because hospital management ought to have a better system in place after the matter came under the spotlight and was resolved two years ago.
“I am surprised and angry that a matter we resolved long ago has not been effected at this hospital.
"These patients have left their homes and come here so that they can be reviewed.
"District hospitals provide transport for them to tertiary hospitals. Today, I saw a patient, Mrs Mamizi Mkhize, who has advanced cancer.
“She is due to go for further treatment at Greys hospital. I found her kneeling on the bench as she says she cannot put down her pelvis on the concrete floor.
"It was obvious if I had not arrived there, she was going to remain kneeling for the whole night. After the visit to Greys hospital, if she comes back late at Msinga, she would sleep on the benches again.
“I ordered the hospital to find her a decent place to sleep together with more than a dozen of mothers taking their children to hospitals in Pietermaritzburg.
"If hospital management had been exposed to Palliative care maybe they would have been sensitive to this need of our population," the MEC said.
Although cognisant of the limited resources at their disposal in some cases, MEC Dhlomo has also urged management of health facilities throughout the province to take charge of their facilities, and find innovative ways to treat patients with respect and dignity, and to provide them with decent healthcare service.
“I urge management at all hospitals to report if they cannot house our patients, so that we can intervene.”
The MEC also expressed his disquiet with the state of cleanliness at the same hospital, and urged management to attend to it.