FS Health explains rubbish found in patient bathrooms

National Hospital in Bloemfontein . Photo: Health-e News Service

The Free State Department of Health has come out to defend itself in yet another matter regarding services at one of its facilities following complaints on social media.

In its latest defence, the department’s National Hospital in Bloemfontein came under fire after one Twitter user took pictures of rubbish being held in the same bathrooms, that patients are expected to use, raising flags on the hospital’s health and safety standards. The Twitter user then went on to state in her post that the toilets at the hospital do not have water, are dirty and have a strong smell.

Spokesperson of the provincial health department, Mondli Mvambi, says that the department is looking into the matter, but is disappointed that users of the hospital opt to exercise their right to complain about services over social media platforms rather than by contacting the hospital directly.

Mvambi told OFM News that the department’s internal investigations reveal that this incident took place in the hospital’s Ward 5 and the cleaners were performing their routine cleaning duties, when they decided to temporarily store all the bags in the bathrooms until they were finished with their rounds in the ward.

Mvambi says the intention was that, when they were finished, only then would they take the rubbish to the sluice room, which is the general waste area at the back of the hospital. Meanwhile, he further said the hospital’s management is rectifying the situation with the cleaning services managers.

“We have recommended that the cleaners be taken through some in-service training again to ensure that they adhere to all elements of infection control and to avoid inconvenience to patients and the public as they conduct their routine cleaning work. We are, however, concerned that the members of the public seem to rush to social media platforms to post their complaints without checking the facts with hospital management. When this happens, the general public is made to draw conclusions of negligence without the basis of facts. We request the public to desist from these practices that border on the unethical, because at times they even violate patient confidentiality,” Mvambi said.

He further appealed to users of the department’s facilities to first seek recourse with the internal complaints structures at these facilities rather than going on social media and, only if turning to these structures does not help, should it be that they then seek recourse from external institutions and platforms such as social media.

Pulane Choane / OFM News