Pretoria: While acknowledging that there is a shortage of medical professionals, North West Department of Health MEC Dr Magome Masike has urged patients to make use of public clinics as a first point of entry into the health system.
Masike made the call during a visit to Schweizer-Reneke Hospital on Thursday. The facility is often overcrowded because patients do not use other public clinics in the area.
During the visit, patients waiting in the queue appealed to the MEC to employ more nurses and doctors to reduce waiting times.
A patient at the hospital, Maite Malebane, 34, said she was displeased at waiting for hours just to be seen by a doctor. “I have been sitting in this chair for about two hours to be seen by a doctor, although I will ultimately be treated, the waiting is too much to bear. ….we need more doctors,” Malebane told Masike.
The MEC said he was aware of the complexities and many challenges within the sector and would not fool anyone into thinking that these challenges would be dealt with easily. “However, with all of us working together and supporting one another, we can achieve better results,” he said.
During the visit, Masike also attended to several patients.
The hospital, which is staffed mainly by Cuban-trained medical doctors who originate from Ipelegeng, has ageing infrastructure as it was first built in 1939.
The MEC also made unannounced visits to the Mamusa Health Centre and Ipelegeng clinic in an effort to ensure the better delivery of health services.