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KZN Health MEC puts her top officials on the public firing line

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KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says she has found a way of dealing with poor service delivery and the abuse of patients’ rights at public health facilities – she has made public the contact details of the province’s hospitals’ CEOs, district directors and those in charge of dispatching ambulances to the public.

Drastic measures have been taken in KwaZulu-Natal to deal with patient complaints in hope they’ll be treated with dignity and respect, reports Health-e News.

According to Simelane-Zulu, the move is part of the changes aimed at ensuring a collective responsibility by senior management of the departments. Patients can now register their complaint with the hospital managers, emergency medical services personnel and forensic pathology services that are available on the provincial health department’s social media platforms. The information, also on the website, has also been circulated on provincial and community media.

Since these contacts numbers have been published, some patients say they have noticed an improvement in the level of service they receive from government hospitals in KZN.

KZN Health spokesperson Noluthando Nkosi says members of the public who may be aggrieved by the level of healthcare they or their relatives receive can lodge a formal complaint with the operational manager of the ward as the MEC announced. Nkosi mentioned that it is important for patients to start from the bottom so that their complaints can be addressed immediately.

“If the matter is not resolved at the bottom, it must be taken up with the matron of that department or the PRO who will investigate the matter urgently. But if the patient is still unhappy, the deputy nurse manager, the senior medical manager and CEO must be contacted,” says Nkosi.

According to Nkosi the department is encouraged by the response from the public in using these contact numbers to report both good and bad experiences at public health facilities.

Health-e News report

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