Pretoria: Self–referrals by patients has been identified as a major challenge towards the improvement of health care services at Brits District Hospital in the North West.
Brits District Hospital CEO, Themba Mhlanga, said the hospital has been critically monitoring its compliance with the National Core Standards to fast track its improvement in the effectiveness and quality of the hospital’s health system as a whole.
However, he said that one of the identified challenges to this point was self-referrals by patients across the Madibeng Local Municipality, which prevents the hospital from achieving its 100% compliance with the Core Standards that meet the principles of Batho Pele.
A concerned Mhlanga noted that the majority of these self-referrals were non-emergency cases attended to in casualty, specifically between 4pm and 6am the next day.
“On 9 January 2013, between 4pm and 6am the next day, there were approximately 59 people that were attended to by the Brits Hospital health professionals, whose conditions were not serious or should not have come to the hospital that night.
“These self-referral cases on that particular day contributed to, amongst others, congestion, delay of ambulances for serious conditions such as assault, illegal abortion bleeding, traumatic amputations, long waiting time, high medical officer turnover and moreover, excessive negative reports,” Mhlanga said.
Mhlanga said efforts have been made to reach out to communities to inform them that the hospital was not a “complete hospital but makeshift” and thus only has 36 beds.