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Pensioner had to wait four months for heart medication

A PENSIONER from Mitchells Plain said she waited for four months to receive her chronic medication for a heart condition. l ALEX GREEN/Pexels

A PENSIONER from Mitchells Plain said she waited for four months to receive her chronic medication for a heart condition. l ALEX GREEN/Pexels

Published Jun 26, 2022

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A MITCHELLS Plain pensioner was forced to wait for four months for her chronic medication from the Mitchells Plain Day Hospital.

Francina Williams, 71, was eligible to have her medication delivered to her at home.

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She became frustrated, because when her medication wasn’t delivered. she went to the hospital to collect it. But the staff kept telling her to wait for her medication to be delivered.

Williams’ last batch of medication, which helps prevent blood clotting and regulates blood pressure, was delivered in December. But to the wrong address.

“This batch was a two-month supply, so it lasted until February. I found this delivery at a complex nearby which has the same address as I have,” said Williams

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When February came, Williams said she waited for her medicine, but nothing was delivered.

“I didnt think anything of it because I thought they delivered it to the wrong address, again.

“I walked to the complex to find out if the parcel was delivered there. But it wasn’t. Close to March and when I got my SASSA grant, I decided to pay R20 to travel to the hospital and enquire there.”

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When Williams got to the hospital she was told that she should go back home as the medication would arrive during the week.

“This was the same excuse every time I went. When the ladies who delivered the medication to the other patients walked pass my house, I would ask them and they would take my name and number.”

Williams said the wait became so unbearable that she resorted to borrowing pills from a friend who had the same heart condition.

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“It was frustrating to go back the whole time and be told that the medication will come, when it never did. I even made sure to stay at home every day for the past four months,just so that I didn’t miss the delivery.

FRANCINA Williams is identified as a vintage client at the Mitchells Plain CHC. l SUPPLIED

“I then started losing hope and though thought if they don’t bring it, then its probably in God’s plan; what must be must be.

“I just hope that this is just a mistake and that it’s not happening with people more sick than me.”

Williams received her medicine after the Weekend Argus made enquiries at the Western Cape Health Department this week.

Williams contacted the reporter saying that her medication had been delivered.

“I just want to say thank you to the hospital and those that helped me. Now I can go on without stressing about medication,” said the pensioner.

Monique Johnstone, a spokesperson for the Western Cape Department of Health, said the Western Cape Health would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused to the client and thanked her for bringing this to their attention.

“Mitchell Plain Community Health Centre’s (CHC) facility manager will follow up with the client as to the reason why she has not received her medication in the last four months.

“We can confirm that Williams is a chronic client at the Mitchells Plain CHC.

“At her last visit to the facility in May, she received a new chronic prescription for June and July.

“She is classified as a vintage client and is eligible to have her medication delivered at home. Non-vintage clients are requested to have their medication collected at a chronic dispensing unit venue as per the date provided by the facility.

ANC Western Cape Legislature for Health spokesperson, Rachel Windvogel, said she had noted with concern that some clinics and hospitals had run out of medication. l PIXABAY

“Two parcels were due to her on May 24, but they were not received by her.

“Her medication was sent out on Wednesday morning for home delivery through our contracted non-profit organisation called Arisen Women.

“Her next delivery date will be in August when she will receive medication for the next two months.”

Johnstone also said that the department was investigating the reason why Williams’ medication wasn’t delivered on time.

ANC Western Cape Legislature for Health’s spokesperson, Rachel Windvogel, said she has noted with concern that some clinics and hospitals had run out of medication.

“This is something I took up with the department. They assured me that they had a borrowing system in place per district.

“I note with concern and will ask for urgent intervention from the HOD, because it is unacceptable that patients have to wait so long.”

City Health obtains all its medication from provincial health partner, the Cape Medical Depot. One would need to contact the CMD representative to provide more detail about whether medicines were out of stock.

Mayco member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross, however, assured that none of their patients go without essential chronic or acute medication due to the system they have in place.

“The City does make the necessary efforts to ensure all our sites have sufficient medicines required by redeploying medicines within their City health facilities.

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