5 hour waiting time at Bara hospital

Issued by Jack Bloom MPL – DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC
02 Oct 2019 in Press Statements

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)
Pharmacy 90 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).