DOH Responds to Kfm on Hospital Bed Capacity in Western Province
- What is the extent of the problem?
- What has, or is being done to resolve this?
- What is advice to people using these hospitals and what is the best way to channel a complaint?
There has been pressure on hospital beds in the Metro for a while now.
This is largely owing to the growing population, migration from other provinces, as well as the changing burden of disease viz-a-vis an increase in HIV/AIDS/TB and increase in chronic diseases of lifestyle. This is evident by the high bed occupancies in our hospitals.
The Department has committed funds to increase the beds within the Metro by 150 during this financial year. An amount of R25m has been allocated for this purpose.
This is the largest increase in hospital beds in the Metro for several years and is welcomed and bound to provide much relief. The beds will be located at Karl Bremer (30), TBH (90) and Lentegeur to be managed by GF Jooste (30).
The Karl Bremer beds have already opened on the 3 May 2005 and is essentialy for neo-natal services and kangaroo medical care. The other hospitals require physical infrastructure changes and will therefore require more preparatory time before being fully commissioned.
This will therefore take place in phases during the course of this year. Thirty (30) beds at TBH will be opened by the end of June 2005 as a first phase.
Eerste Rivier hospital will be working closely with Hottentots Holland hospital to provide relief when the latter is under pressure.The management teams of both hospitals have met and are currently finalising details of the working arrangements to give effect to this.
22 additional beds have been commissioned at Booth Hospital from 1 April 2005 as step down beds to manage patients not fit for discharge to their homes but not requiring acute hospital care. These measures together with the additional 150 acute beds will bring significant relief to the current pressures.
The PHC system and Home based care services are being strengthened to support patients after discharge to ensure that acute beds are not being blocked for social reasons as is often the case given our socio economic environment.
The Health Department would appreciate the co-operation of the public in helping to manage the current pressures.
Patients that can be managed at PHC services should visit their nearest clinic and not the hospital. The PHC (Primary Health Care) services are rendered free of charge to enable maximum access at PHC services.
Family support to patients admitted in hospital is very important for their healing and mental health status. Thus we would encourage families to visit their kin in hospitals during the visiting hours.
Family members should understand the pressures that our doctors and nurses work under.
However, we remain committed as a Department to continuously improving the quality of care at all our facilities.
Part of improving quality is the provision of a system at each of our facilities for patients or their families to provide complaints or compliments.
The hospital management will consider each and every complaint raised and respond accordingly. This is an important mechanism to understand our patient satisfaction of dissatisfaction with the service and provide an ongoing basis for improvement.