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New Ritshidze data reveal unfilled vacancies and long delays at Gauteng clinics

Neelam Rahim | neelam@radioislam.co.za

3-minute read
24 November 2023 | 17:24 CAT

Healthcare users are interviewed at Boikhutsong Clinic. (Photo: Rian Horn/Ritshidze)

Ritshidze has launched a detailed report into the state of the public healthcare system in Gauteng.

The report states that while some improvement has been made, it is evident that there are still too many shortcomings in the provincial public healthcare system in Gauteng, including high numbers of unfilled vacancies, long waiting times, overburdened staff and, at times, dismissive.

Unfriendly services are among ten key issues outlined in the Fourth edition Ritshidze of the report. The report is based on the results of data collected through Ritshidze’s community-led monitoring of 128 facilities in the province, including 46 in Johannesburg, 29 in the City of Tshwane, 40 in Ekurhuleni, together with additional data collected through interviews with one-thousand-651 key populations in the community.

“While not everywhere, in certain facilities there remains a culture of bullying and belittling people. This can make people want to give up on getting health services. “The nurses scold you when you ask questions. That place brings us no joy at all; I even stopped collecting my treatment”, one person living with HIV told us,” The report stated.

Other issues include people living with HIV being shouted at or sent to the back of the queue if they are late for an appointment — which goes against ART guidelines that clearly say that no punitive action is allowed for a late or missed appointment.

“On a more positive note, average waiting times have reduced in the province over the last year, from 3:54 hours down to 3:20 hours. However, 45% of public healthcare users interviewed still think waiting times are long — and waiting all day at the clinic remains a frustrating reality,” the report pointed out.

Ritshidze monitors reported that filing systems were in bad condition at 27% of sites in the province.

The report explains, “Waiting times are only worsened when people’s medical files go missing — and at times people are forced to open new files, losing their patient history, or are denied health services altogether.”

Listen to the full interview on The Daily Round-Up with Moulana Junaid Kharsany and Ritshidze’s Ndivhuwo Rambau.

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