Patients Turned Away At Katutura Clinic

Patients at the Donkerhoek clinic in Katutura – including pregnant women and babies who arrived yesterday morning as early as 06h00 – were allegedly denied treatment by nurses on duty.

Juliana Garises who was among the patients informed New Era telephonically yesterday afternoon that nurses did not assist patients because the registrar who was supposed to stamp their health passports was not around and the nurses could thus not do anything to help them.

“We came here very early but up to now we haven’t been assisted. When I inquired, the nurse on duty told me to come back tomorrow because she cannot assist me today,” Garises claimed.

“I had an operation on my leg and I only took leave from work for a day for a check-up,” added a furious Garises

Furthermore, Garises said the registrar who claimed she was part of the immunisation team at the clinic only came on duty around 11am, after she was alerted by her colleague that patients were trying to report the matter to health minister Richard Kamwi.

When New Era arrived at the clinic the nurses had already left for lunch and only a handful of patients were still hanging around hoping to be served while the rest had allegedly been turned away.

Some patients said they were told to wait until the nurses came back from lunch to be attended to.

Berno Pheko, one of the disgruntled patients, said what transpired yesterday was a recurring practice.

“These nurses are just like that – come any day to observe and you will you see exactly what I am telling you. They only did something when they heard we were trying to contact the minister and the media, but only assisted less than five people after the registrar arrived,” said Pheko

Pheko claimed that a man named Kamberira, believed to be the head of the Donkerhoek clinic, arrived on the scene but said he could not do anything and that patients should rather take up the matter with the minister.

Meanwhile, the Director of Health in Khomas Region Elizabeth Muremi said nurses cannot send patients back home without treating them, but added she was aware of the “slow” conduct of nurses.

“Sometimes nurses exaggerate and what they told you are just allegations because I know nurses can not send patients back home. I can only say that they were slow because we are currently having a lot of programmes, among them the immunisation campaign and thus we are experiencing a shortage of nurses,” said Muremi.

Source : New Era