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Patients leave empty-handed

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“As the time progressed, we were told that we should go home and return the next day because the two people who work at the pharmacy were off sick”

KIMBERLEY patients who went to collect their medication at the City Clinic had to leave empty-handed yesterday after staff at the pharmacy were apparently off sick.

The patients said they had been waiting since before the facility opened and were only informed that there were no staff to help after 10am.

“I came to the clinic at about 7.10am as we were told in the past that we have to be at the clinic early,” said one of the patients. “We lined up and waited for the clinic to open at 7.30am. We then went through the process of getting numbers and waiting for our files.

“As the time progressed, we were told that we should go home and return the next day because the two people who work at the pharmacy were off sick.

“We were shocked to hear that we had been sitting there for nothing for hours. We had to leave as we were told that the pharmacy was locked and there was no one to attend to us.”

The patient said they were told to return the next day.

Another patient accused the staff at the facility of being negligent. “We are sickly and have to take our medication daily. The nurses are supposed to assist us in this regard, but they are not taking our health seriously. We have to go to the clinic to collect our medication but then it is not available. These people are playing with our health,” she said.

Others said they would not be able to return today.

“There are some of us who have to work. We already took a day off to be here to collect our medication. It is not a matter of quickly going to the clinic to collect your medication and then returning to work thereafter. One has to take an entire day off in order to do so. The staff at the clinic know that.

“The staff at this facility are not very understanding when you tell them that you missed your date to collect your medication. They expect us to be understanding, yet when we require the same understanding from them, our pleas fall on deaf ears.”

Reporters from the DFA were yesterday denied any details surrounding the matter when they attempted to verify the allegations from the sister on duty.

The reporters were referred to the spokesperson for the provincial Department of Health and were denied access into the facility, despite the fact that it is a public facility.

Department of Health spokesperson Lebogang Majaha yesterday apologised to the patients who were not attended to.

“As a department, we express our apology to the patients who might have left the facility before they could be assisted in the morning. However, our clinical team dispensed medication from the consultation rooms and all patients were attended to,” said Majaha.