Reports are surfacing that the newly built Natalspruit Hospital in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng is experiencing issues with its eHealth system because staff aren’t adequately trained to use it for patient management.

DA MPL Jack Bloom raised the issue by saying that the hospital’s management team needs to improve the situation soon so that patients can get acceptable care without lengthy delays. Apparently when he visited the hospital towards the end of 2014 patients were complaining about having to re-register on the eHealth system at every consultation.

“This is a major flaw that I had hoped would be fixed after my previous visit in October last year when hospital management said it was a teething problem. It seems that staff have still not been trained to use the electronic system, so it slows things down instead of speeding it up. There has also been a spate of staff resignations because of the pressure of patient numbers,” said Bloom.

Gauteng health spokesman, Prince Hamnca, defended the system by saying the hospital has only experienced a few minimal disruptions and that medical doctors are trained on an on-going process.

“Natalspruit Hospital personnel, who have undergone electronic-system (Medicom) training, have been trained according to department’s IT directorate required standards. And to ensure there are minimal malfunctions to the new system, IT project managers are onsite at the new hospital to monitor the system and to offer training where necessary.” said Hamnca.

“How quickly hospital queues move differs from day to day and it also depends on the busyness of the facility,” continued Hamnca.

While Hamnca said that the facility was sufficiently staffed, he didn’t address Blooms’ claims about hospital staff resigning due to the failing system. “Hospital Management noticed that due to the design of the new facility, more personnel are required. So a process to increase staff is under way,” said Hamnca.

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