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Healthcare watchdog launches complaints hotline

23 November 2016 - 18:40 By Matthew Savides

Members of the public 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 (OHSC) will launch their "complaints management call centre" on Monday‚ and will allow for complaints to be properly recorded and investigated.“Through access [to the call centre] the OHSC will be able to protect and promote the health and safety of health service users and vulnerable people in realisation of the right to healthcare in the country‚" said OHSC spokesman Ricardo Mahlakanya.He said a team would be in place to 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.The OHSC‚ in April‚ released damning findings on the state of the country’s clinics and hospitals. Many‚ the watchdog body found‚ did not meet even the most basic healthcare standards.Between 2012 and March 2016 the OHSC conducted 1‚887 inspections at 1‚500 healthcare facilities across South Africa. Only 39 of the inspections met the 80% mark to be considered “excellent”‚ while 660 inspections returned results of 39% or lower and were labelled “critically noncompliant”.But Mahlakanya said that the hotline would allow people to complain and‚ as a result‚ improve the care they receive.The toll free number is 080 911 6472 and will be effective from 28 November 2016...

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