Hospital seeks image make-over

Green Point day hospital recently held its second open day to introduce people to the range of services it offers.

Facility manager Annette Neethling said it was important to change public opinion about public health facilities.

“Sometimes the public hospitals are seen in a very bad light, and we are trying to change that image… We are caring, responsive, respectful and have integrity,” said Ms Neethling.

She said that it was important to be accessible to the public to hear both compliments and complaints.

Ms Neethling, who has been the facility manager for two years, said when she first came to the the hospital, she noticed that most of the clients visited on their way to work.

And it was for that reason that the facility opened as early as 6am. “When a patient comes to collect medication, they don’t have to take a whole day off.”

She added that they had also implemented a system whereby patients were given a number and time so they knew how long it would take to be attended to.

“My motto in life is to treat people the way you want to be treated: with respect and dignity. That is how I expect every staff member to treat the clients and for the clients to treat the staff.”

She said that, in line with the Health Department’s policy, the hospital was focusing more on prevention than cure.

“On a weekly basis, we will look at the folders that didn’t come for their appointments. We will either call them or send out community-based people to find them.”

Through this system, said Ms Neethling, they hoped to identify patients who might need help.

“We need to work smarter in order to give the best care with the money that we have available.”

One of the doctors at the day hospital, Dr Mumtaz Abbas, said they offered a number of services.

“The main part of what we do is consulting and develop treatment plans for patients.”

Dr Abbas said they treated patients with acute ailments (patients only sick for a few days) as well as chronically ill patients.

There is also a small emergency unit at the hospital for critically ill patients.

However, she said: “We are not a fully-fledged hospital, so patients don’t sleep here. We can keep them for the day and then refer them.”

It is up to the doctors at the clinic to decide if the patients are well enough to go home or need to be referred to a hospital.

“We also provide a lot of health promotion and education in our rooms,” she added.

“We focus a lot on prevention and healthy lifestyles.”

There are three doctors at the hospital and they can see anything from 35 to 40 patients each a day.

Every patient who comes in is also screened for tuberculosis, as there is a high prevalence of it in the country, as well as for HIV.