Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sugar, we're going down

I received an e-mail from the South African Medical Association yesterday. As some of you may know from reading Bongi's posts on the matter, Mpumalanga health is in crisis. I read a related article recently, but the real reasons are in this e-mail:

Media Release:

SAMA speaks out on Mpumalanga Hospital closure


29 January 2008


None, Immediate Release

The South African Medical Association expresses its grave concern about the closure of emergency services at hospitals in the Mpumalanga Province.

Reports have been received that Bethal, Standerton, Secunda and Ermelo Hospitals – all district hospitals, have shut down after-hour emergency services due to shortage of medical officers. In addition, the Rob–Ferreira Hospital in Nelspruit, which is classified as a provincial hospital and referral hospital for the above hospitals, has closed its maternity ward and is not admitting new patients after hours since 25 January 2008.

Of great concern is that patient care is compromised when interns who have to work under the supervision of a medical officer in a hospital, are now expected to work without such supervision. This problem has emerged as a result of the two-year internship programme which was introduced in 2006, as opposed to the previous one-year internship programme. It has therefore created a gap in the provision of Community Service doctors who normally fill posts of medical officers in peripheral hospitals when they complete their internship.

The Provincial Department states that they do not currently have the budget to finance additional overtime for doctors, and that funds will be made available when the new financial year starts on 1 April 2008.

In 2007 the South African Medical Association made suggestions to the Department on the envisaged shortage of medical officers for 2008. They were very receptive to the suggestions and advised different provinces to implement them to avert a crisis. However, some provinces such as Mpumalanga have not, and hence the problems that they are currently experiencing.

SAMA urges the Mpumalanga Department of Health to engage urgently with medical officers in the affected hospitals to ensure continuity of patient care, as well as considering the utilisation of additional capacity from doctors in the private sector who are prepared to assist in containing this crisis. We would like to urgently meet with the Mpumalanga Department of Health regarding these issues.

Issued by the SAMA Corporate Communications Department to the South African media on 29 January 2008
Corporate Communications Manager - SAMA

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

More funny presenting complaints

As I've mentioned before, because most of my patients don't speak English, we have interpreters who take their complaints and then write them down in the patients' notes before they are seen by a doctor. I have seen some pretty funny complaints:

"Sore chick".

"The patient fell and the finger knows it's painful". Does he?!

"Virginal itching
" (spelt eaching). If it's itching down there it's probably not virginal.

"Sport in the body". Isn't that a good thing?

"Sport under the feet". Dito

"Sore leg and week". I've also had a sore week dude.

"Lazy body". Yep, I have that too.

"Little beat eating". What?

"Headache side by side". With what?

"Anus liking pus". Bwahahahahahahaha!

"Buttocks rash". Okay, there isn't really anything wrong with that, it just sounds funny.

And here are some strange names I've seen (maybe South Africans will appreciate these more):

Pleaseman (yes, it's a real name)