Patient Raises Security Issues at Hospital

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By Francis Tsawayo WINDHOEK A patient who was recently hospitalised at the private Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek alleges a staff member of the hospital helped herself to food, drinks and other presents belonging to him. The incident occurred after the patient received fruit baskets amongst other gifts from family, friends and associates. As the patient was still unwell at the time, he was unable to eat all the food that was brought to him by relatives and friends. The patient, whose name is known to New Era agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, for fear that he might be victimised should he land in hospital again. To the patient’s surprise, a microbiologist in the Pathology Department allegedly came and helped herself to all his food as well as the patient’s bathing soap and even nail cutters. Though the patient was not concerned about the food, his main fear was security at the hospital. The patient felt that such an incident would compromise the safety of patients. If someone employed in such a critical department of the hospital were capable of such behaviour, there would be no reason for such a person not to commit fatal crimes. His fear is that if a person who has access to blood samples can be tempted by baskets of fruits, they would find an offer of money to contaminate one’s blood with a virus easily acceptable. After the incident, the patient also questioned the importance of the list of patients that is displayed at the door. He believes that it was placed there for a good purpose but after the incident, he fears that patients are liable to victimisation from the outside world as anyone can just come in and visit, of which at times patients are in individual wards where they may be helplessly ill. The patient elaborated how he had confronted the perpetrator and she told him that to her knowledge and expertise she believed he would die, a statement she repeated in front of the patient’s wife. The patient also filed a complaint at the reception. Though the patient has since been discharged, he felt the issue of security needs to be addressed as not only the general public use the hospital but also even government officials. Matron of the Catholic Hospital Bernadette Shipanga said she was not aware of the incident. Though an inquiry into the incident has been opened, she also revealed that Path Care was the institute that provides microbiologists. Matron Shipanga urged patients to use the right channels and direct all complaints to her. That way, she can take the necessary measures on time.

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