FS Health disputes lack of timely service

The Free State Department of Health disputes the claims that the president of the Free State Chamber of Commerce, Mimie Jacobs, waited for 16 hours at the Pelonomi Hospital before she could be treated for a stab wound.

The spokesperson of the department, Mondli Mvambi, says she arrived at the hospital on Sunday morning at about 02:08 am and was triaged and classified to be “Yellow”, which means the patient would be seen by a doctor within an hour.

Mvambi further says the condition of Jacobs was classified as stable at that point in time. She left the hospital premises at about 05:00 am before being seen by the doctor as she apparently felt that she had waited for too long.

This followed after a Bloemfontein farmer, Mimie Jacobs, was brutally attacked on her Rosemead farm during a robbery on Saturday evening. She was stabbed with a knife and a piece of metal was stuck in her skull. She was transported to Pelonomi Hospital by an ambulance.

According to Bloemfontein Courant, “it is alleged that Jacobs was taken to Pelonomi Hospital at around 23:00 pm and was there until around 07:00 am the next day without receiving any assistance. Her brother then decided to take her to Mediclinic where they managed to assist her immediately. The hospital removed the metal bit of the knife stuck in her skull quickly and she did not require extensive surgery.”

Mvambi says that is an unfortunate falsehood and fabrication of facts.

He adds that the Pelonomi Hospital is seeing an extremely high number of violent incidents over the weekends. The health workers do their best to see these patients within the shortest possible time.

“Unfortunately our health workers do get overwhelmed by these high volumes and take longer than the set norms and standards. This, unfortunately, upsets the patients who are desperately awaiting services.”

OFM reports that Mvambi says it is instances like these that will demonstrate the need for accelerated implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI). Health facilities can have the ability to provide the highest levels of care to all insured patients. He says the public health system is overburdened with fewer resources and professionals while private facilities are the opposite – only willing to provide care for the very few patients who are able to pay.

“We regret the incident where a patient ended up leaving without the required assistance being concluded and as the department and the hospital we are working on improving the service experience,” he concluded.