Tšepong rapped for neglecting patients

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Limpho Sello

THE workaholic Minister of Health, Nkaku Kabi, and his deputy, Manthabiseng Phohleli, this week visited Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QMMH) where the minister expressed concern at the staff’s negligence which he says has at times led to the deaths of patients and severe complications in others.

Mr Kabi and Ms Phohleli visited QMMH also known as Tšepong Hospital to get an appraisal of the working environment at the health facility as well as to discuss issues of concern with the hospital management.

The Queen “Mamohato Memorial Hospital opened its doors to the public in October 2011 as a national referral hospital but the facility has continued to hog the spotlight for the wrong reasons with patients accusing staff of negligence which has on various occasions led to the unnecessary loss of lives.

The casualty department is one of the worst offenders when it comes to the treatment of patients and Mr Kabi said this went against the Ministry of Health’s mandate to ensure that lives were saved through timeous access to quality services.

“Patients must be promptly attended to and they need to be listened to because what is being done to them when they are in pain is not acceptable at all,” Mr Kabi said.

“You have to have a sense of urgency when a patient arrives at the emergency or the casualty department so that patients feel that they are cared for.

“I have previously observed when I came here to seek treatment that nurses lack a sense of urgency and that frustrates us because we want our loved ones to be assisted which is why we just lose it sometimes and become violent against the nurses.”

During the ministers’ tour, the Lesotho Times crew witnessed  the death of a male patient and another incident where a young woman who appeared to be in great pain had to wait a long time at the reception before being attended to.

The wife of the deceased, Mateboho Monyane, told this publication that upon arrival in the morning, they were made to wait for more than two hours and she believed her husband was already dead when he was finally attended to.

Ms Monyane said her husband who suffered from liver complications had been in and out of hospital for a year before his death.

She said he was referred to QMMH by the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Roma last Wednesday but he was not given any medication and only told to return to the hospital on Monday- the day he succumbed to the illness while waiting to be attended to.

“We arrived (at QMMH) in the morning together with my son and I pleaded with the staff to attend to my husband while I filled in his registration details,” Ms Monyane said.

“My plea was not heard and I was told that there were no wheelchairs to take him in and he had to wait.

“I left my husband with our son to go and register. It was then that I overheard one man telling another that there was a dead man at the reception who had not been attended to. I rushed back to find that my husband was not breathing and it was painful to realise that he was gone.”

She said it was only then that the nurses came to the scene but it was already too late.

She said after that the nurses left for lunch and kept whispering among themselves.

“I’m sure my husband would have still been alive had he been swiftly given assistance,” Ms Monyane said.

Mr Kabi hit the ground running since his appointment in a recent cabinet reshuffle. He is seen as a hardworking young minister with a good grasp of what the ministry needs to do to improve on health service delivery.

 

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