Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Patients will soon be able to report negligence‚ long queues and shoddy hospital and clinic facilities to the health police.

The office of health safety compliance will launch its complaints management call centre on Monday to record and investigate complaints properly.

Through this centre, the watchdog body would be able to protect and promote the health and safety of health service users and vulnerable people exercising their right to healthcare, said spokesman Ricardo Mahlakanya.

He said a team would be ensure calls were not missed.

Mahlakanya said this hotline was an independent platform compared to provincial hotlines manned by their various departments of health and that they had the power to assess the merit of the complaint received and decide on appropriate action.

In April‚ the body released damning findings on the state of clinics and hospitals. It found that many did not meet even the most basic healthcare standards.

From 2012 to March 2016, the body conducted 1‚887 inspections at 1‚500 healthcare facilities across the country. Only 39 of the inspections met the 80% mark to be considered "excellent"‚ and 660 inspections returned results of 39% or lower and were labelled "critically noncompliant".

Mahlakanya said the hotline would enable people to complain and as a result improve the care they get.

The toll-free number is 080 911 6472 and will be effective from November 28.

TMG Digital

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