15th Aug 2020 7:15:29 AM

The Charities | The Children | Dorah Mokoena | Health | Schools / Training | Community / Diaries | Regional Reports | UMashesha
Durban Visit
Clairwood Hospital
Hospital Visit
Milpark Hospital, Gauteng
Leratong Hospital, Gauteng
Tonga & Shongwe
Dora Ngiza Hospital
Port Elizabeth
Children of Fire Milpark Hospital, Gauteng.

This regional report will be updated each time fresh information is available. It is published on the website in imperfect form because people need information now.

Milpark Hospital is one of the Netcare Group hospitals. The charity has assisted burns patients via two other Netcare hospitals to date; Sunninghill and Park Lane. [We have also helped a burns patient at the Linksfield Clinic that belongs to another private hospital group, and little Dorah (see elsewhere on website) has in the past been seen by an ophthalmic surgeon at the Brenthurst Clinic.] All these hospitals mentioned are in greater Johannesburg.

Our connection with Milpark has been quite long term because Mfundo Ntamehlo has had to visit the hospital on a weekly basis for many months now and has had three operations there. While individual surgeons get full waiting rooms, often even for pro Deo consultations, children get seen fairly quickly. The worst wait we had was two hours but that was unusual.

Waiting rooms for individual surgeons are always clean, interesting, stocked with magazines and courteous staff. Waiting at the main hospital reception to check-in for an operation is a comfortable arrangement as well. Early one November 2001 morning there were 14 people waiting to see the administrators, but most of the people were friends or family so only about five people waiting were actual patients. They sat on individual turqoise or orange comfortable conference-type chairs for just a few minutes before being called to the counter and then sitting on upright wood and steel chairs to confirm their details for computer inputting. There were always more chairs than people.

At the main desk or the three smaller computer terminals, there was no glass barrier. It was easy to talk face to face to a motivated friendly and smiling administrator. One would of course expect the staff to be courteous, kind and helpful, especially bearing in mind that many patients or their families would be anxious about the forthcoming operation. But the pleasantness is in stark contrast to the sullenness frequently found in state hospitals. Happy staff set the patient's mind at ease.

On one side of the room a small television showed the ETV news headlines; on the other side of the airy, balconied, lobby there was a small cafe and gift shop. A few pot plants added to the ambience.

The tiled floor was spotless; the lighting a mix of recessed fluorescents and spotlights. The fact that spotlights are expensive does not discount the fact that fluorescents are quite cheap to install and run - and it was just the extra thought it took to recess them into the ceiling and to diffuse the light, that made the difference to the atmosphere.

Waiting anywhere, one has a bad feeling if the staff meant to help one disappear on long coffee breaks, stand chatting to their colleagues, or just amble along, disinterestedly. This seems to be the rule rather than the exception in the state system. The staff at Milpark constantly seemed busy, walking purposefully, and always calm.

Even the security men, who noticed how disfigured burned children are, managed not to stare or create any cruel discomfort. It cannot be so difficult to replicate some of this system, in which even the patients were smiling, into the state hospitals as well.

This material is Copyright The Dorah Mokoena Charitable Trust and/or Children of Fire , 1998-2020.
Distribution or re-transmission of this material, excluding the Schools' Guide, is expressly forbidden without prior permission of the Trust.
For further information, email firechildren@icon.co.za