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Reducing waiting times

He says that down referrals, which are when the patients are sent back

to the clinic or their doctor for further follow up visits, has helped curb long queues.

“The down referral is explained in detail to the patient.

The patient must be given a referral letter with the date on it, written in legible handwriting with a signature or preferably with the doctor’s personal stamp.

 “This down referral is not complete without a recommendation for further treatment, including medication and the time period necessary for treatment and medication.”

Another factor that contributed to the lengthy queues was, prior to 2013, patients seen at the GOPD had to return to the hospital after a few weeks for abdominal sonars.

Sonar examinations are done to limit or avoid misdiagnosis.

“Sonar appointments often had to be rebooked due to other unpredictable circumstances,

despite the fact that patients had already paid taxi fare twice and some came from as far as Carletonville.”

Dr Lubbe says patients do not need to return for abdominal and vaginal sonars as they are done immediately.

He adds that the hospital has also established a transvaginal sonar clinic, which is separate from the GOPD.

A transvaginal test is used to look at a woman’s reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and cervix. This clinic attends to patients who are already admitted to the hospital.

“Without further waiting periods, patients requiring sonar examination are now sent to the sonar clinic where a gynaecologist will perform the sonar without delay.”

 He adds that usually in public and private hospitals the radiology department performs only abdominal sonars and not vaginal sonars, but this is done at Leratong Hospital.

Working in a well-structured environment Dr Lubbe believes that working in a well-structured environment not only reduces stress levels

and the frustration experienced by doctors and patients but also creates confidence.

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