My heart is so sore to read “Poor service at False Bay Hospital,” Echo January 31.
I arrived here in Fish Hoek on transfer from KwaZulu-Natal, to take up the post of matron at False Bay Hospital in January 1996.
The hospital did not have a good name in the valley at the time, and I put every ounce of energy into making sure that the staff, were looked after first of all. For if your staff are ill or unhappy, the patients will not benefit, as they are the reason the hospital is there.
The staff, all categories, worked hard and a caring attitude slowly grew until I knew anyone coming to the hospital would be looked after to the best of all our abilities.
This obviously was soon after the end of apartheid. We all worked together as there is no class, race, gender or religion in caring for human beings.
I enjoyed having the new doctors arriving to do their community hours at False Bay. I explained that the surest way for them to be the best doctors was to draw on the knowledge of the older experienced nursing staff, as this is not something you find in textbooks. We had a great working relationship, doctors and nurses, and the patients received the benefit of this.
It is not the hospital that is the problem but the people working in it. The provincial Health Department has to answer for where the health care is today, as being short-staffed to save money does not result in patient or staff care!