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Patients lie on the floor

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Patients at the casualty section at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley have to lie on the floor due to a shortage of beds.

Patients are lying on the floor at casualties at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital due to a shortage of beds. Picture: Supplied

PATIENTS at the casualty section at Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital in Kimberley have to lie on the floor due to a shortage of beds.

Patients indicated that they were informed that this was due to an influx of patients.

The stretchers from the ambulances were used to assist patients to alleviate the problem this week.

However, this meant that there was only one ambulance available to collect patients in Kimberley and surrounding areas and one ambulance to provide services in the Ritchie area.

The wheelchairs have also been taken out of the ambulances to be used inside the hospital.

Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Lulu Mxekezo confirmed that Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital had been inundated with patients who needed tertiary health-care services.

“This is as a result of primary care facilities that are being bypassed by the public in order to access quicker services.

“The hospital is doing everything in its power to prioritise emergency conditions and treat all patients as soon as possible.”

Mxekezo also said that the wheelchairs and other equipment were disappearing from their facilities.

“This has a knock-on effect on patients visiting our facilities.

“The Northern Cape Department of Health is working to resolve the challenges as soon as possible, so that only patients who need tertiary care visit Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital. One of these solutions is the establishment of a Sol Plaatje district hospital.”

Mxekezo stated that the number of ambulances in operation differed from time to time.

“Some vehicles are taken to workshops for repairs and services.”

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