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PATIENTS COMPLAIN OF POOR SERVICE AT HEREFORDS

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BUHLENI – Folk living around Buhleni and surrounding areas are not happy with the service at Herefords Clinic.


The clinic is one of the oldest health facilities in the Hhohho Region and serves residents from surrounding communities including Ndzingeni, Bulandzeni, Nyakatfo and Mpofu.
Recently, some of the residents have been complaining about lack of assistance at the clinic, adding that many were being forced to turn back.


The nearest public health facility from Herefords Clinic is Emkhuzweni Health Centre, which is about seven kilometres away.
At least six people, who were interviewed at different intervals, complained about the poor service at the clinic.


Queue


The residents included an elderly woman, who said she had taken a child to the clinic last Saturday, but after waiting long hours in the queue, they were not assisted.
She said she was shocked to see one of the nurses leaving at 11am while patients were still in the queue.
“I was under the impression that the clinic opens until 1pm,” she said.


The elderly woman said she ended up taking the child to Emkhuzweni Health Centre, where he was treated.
Another resident who was not assisted was a 12-year-old boy, who alleged that he had been going to the hospital for treatment of sores, but did not get help.


He said that he was turned back without getting any assistance.
“I couldn’t go back later because I did not have transport money,” he said. It was also gathered that a man who arrived with a swollen leg, after being bitten by a snake, also wasn’t assisted.


 “They did not even have time for him,” said a woman from Nyakatfo area, who said she had also gone to the clinic for medical assistance.


This publication established that the man later sought assistance at Emkhuzweni Health Centre.
The woman further said she was also not assisted despite waiting in a queue for a long time.
She revealed that at one point, some residents were so angry that they ended up manhandling one of the nurses whom they saw boarding a kombi while they were still in a queue.


An elderly woman is said to have advised the residents against assaulting the nurse. The woman warned that attacking the nurse could result in a serious criminal offence.
“What if she dies of injuries?” the elderly woman is said to have warned. The nurse was not aware that the residents were planning to attack her.


Some of the nurses at the hospital were called for comment on the complaints, but they declined to do so.


 Dispute


One of the nurses blamed the poor service on an internal dispute among some of her colleagues.
The matron based in Pigg’s Peak and responsible for the clinic was also called for comment, but her phone rang unanswered.
Dr Vusi Magagula, who is the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, when called for comment, highlighted that concerned patients should have followed the right channels of lodging complaints.


Magagula said when one was not happy with the service provided, they should follow through with a senior official at that facility.
He said if they did not get the satisfactory assistance, they should then head to the Regional Head Office in Pigg’s Peak and report to the official responsible for the clinic.


Magagula said this could also be escalated to higher officials if help was not forthcoming.
He also said the matter had not yet been reported to him but said he would follow up.

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: Positive nurses not isolated
Is government overwhelmed or is it just pure negligence on some health personnel?