MOUTSE – Prompted by a myriad of complaints about Philadelphia Hospital outside Groblersdal, the Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo included the heath facility within Elias Motsoaledi Local Municipality in its oversight visits planned institutions on Wednesday, 6 April.
The DA revealed that the hospital was plagued by the highest stillborn baby records, infant mortality rates and medical claims.
The party added that the hospital would continue to see an escalation of those figures if urgent government intervention was not taken at the hospital which is alleged to be currently facing medico legal claims in excess of R650 million.
The DA further said almost the entire hospital’s management team was in acting positions, and has been for long periods of time.
It further said that the shortage of staff and infrastructure limitations at the facility made it impossible for the regional hospital to function within the required standards.
Lindy Wilson, DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Health, said the biggest challenge at the hospital, which is located at the border of Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo, was that 70 percent of the patients came in from neighbouring provinces, because some refused to go to KwaMhlanga Hospital in Mpumalanga or those in Gauteng provinces.
Wilson further said that funds meant for the Limpopo hospital were servicing patients from other provinces without a Memorandum of Understanding between the provinces in question.
“Ambulances from out of the province will deliver patients to Philadelphia Hospital but are not allowed to deliver patients from Limpopo for assistance in Witbank…
Patients from other provinces with head injuries, that require CAT scans, are delivered to Philadelphia Hospital, but Philadelphia Hospital must transport the same patients for almost 3 hours to Polokwane for a scan, when Witbank Hospital is only an hour away,” explained Wilson.
Wilson informed that the hospital delivered 35 babies per day and that there was no theatre for the labour ward to manage emergency caesarians.
She said that led to huge cerebral palsy and stillborn deaths, as emergency caesarean births would often be delayed up to 4 hours until a general theatre became available.
Wilson concluded that there was also a shortage of beds at the facility with mothers sleeping on mattresses on the floor.
Attempts to get comment from Limpopo Department of Health were not successful at the time of going to press. A query was sent to the department early on Friday morning but was not responded to late that evening.