Written by on February 17, 2019

COMPLAINTS by some patients at Matero Level One Hospital that they are usually made to wait long hours, especially at the night, before being attended to by medical personnel, make sad reading.

What, if we may ask, would one describe as being efficient or effective in dispensing services, health systems that keep patients, in serious condition, waiting on queues and benches to the point of death before attending to them?

As Mr. Gerald Mbulo, a resident of Matero Township found at named health institution evidently stated that, patients are spending too much time in queues at hospitals.

But then, if we may ask, why are our hospitals and clinics always characterized by queues, and patients lying down on benches waiting to be attended to by medical personnel?

Going for treatment at any of our local hospitals and clinics entails spending substantial number of hours, and in some cases the whole day, there because the process of accessing medical attention is either sluggish or just cumbersome.

But surprisingly, we don’t seem to learn a thing or two from these incidences because if we did, we could have worked, as a nation, to change the situation or systems in our health facilities for the better, a long time ago.

We are not in any way trying to put blame on anyone, but merely trying to point out at the fact that most visitors to hospitals and clinics are persons in dire need of medical attention, and keeping them in long wait on benches and queues, before being seen by medical officers, simply means aggravating their already desperate situation.

What we do not totally agree with is the notion that the long queues and slow process of accessing medical attention in our health facilities is because of lack of enough medical personnel.

To some extent, yes, the shortage of medical personal could make the process somehow sluggish but to a larger extent, it is the lack of seriousness by some the existing medical staff that has rendered the system to its current situation or status.

Staff at some of the health institutions, both in the urban and rural areas, spend much of their time chatting, malingering or simply doing personal errands. This either creates an artificial shortage of staff, puts unnecessary pressure on the other staff and ultimately renders the entire system inept. The end result is that, the poor patients actually bear the burden. Sometimes even to the point of dying.

In our view, for the medical service system to change, it is not about how many health personnel that the government will engage but their change of attitude. For indeed, government can go on engaging more health professional every year, but for as long as their attitude to work still remains unchanged, the situation in our health institutions will still remain dire.

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