Patients at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital can expect to wait 5 hours to receive a file, see a doctor and get their medicine.
This was revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The average recorded waiting times at the hospital in August this year were as follows:
|To receive a file||29 minutes|
|Medical outpatients||185 minutes (3 hours 5 minutes)|
|TOTAL TIME||304 minutes (5 hours and 4 minutes)|
I am also concerned that Priority 2 casualty patients (the “walking wounded”) will have to wait on average for 69 minutes, up from 25 minutes last year.
According to Bandile, the long waiting times are due to “high patient volumes, burden of diseases, defaulting patients and stafﬁng in relation to patient volumes.”
These waiting times are unacceptable, adding extra suffering to sick people.
We need to see efficiency improvements, adequate staffing, and alternative arrangements for chronic medicines so that patients can pick them up at convenient locations rather than a crowded hospital.
Radical improvement is needed at public hospitals if government is serious about implementing the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI).