Relief for patients and their families as strict hospital visits eased
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Cape Town - The Western Cape department of Health has eased the strict visits to hospitals, much to the relief of patient family members.
The department said, during the third wave and level 3 restrictions, they had to restrict visitation at hospitals to align with regulations and to reduce the number of people in their facilities at a time.
MEC for Health Nomafrench Mbombo said being visited by loved ones is an important part of a patient’s road to recovery.
“It is bringing relief to family members, who are anxious about the well-being of their loved ones and want to visit them in hospital,” she said.
She said they also understand that it is also reassuring for young patients or the elderly to have an escort present, when visiting the emergency room or outpatients’ department
Mbombo said that being sick and hospitalised can be a challenging, if not frightening, experience. Therefore, it is good to have a loved one with you when you go through the challenge, a person who will encourage and comfort you.
“I am sure the patient is forever looking forward to that visit, it is something good and it assists a lot on the road to recovery,” she said.
Mbombo appealed to friends and relatives to adhere to visiting times to make this easier for everyone.
The department said in a statement that with the Covid-19 still present, they must remain vigilant to avoid congestion and to maintain a safe physical distance between people.
These guidelines will be assessed and implemented, according to each facility’s current situation and capacity.
“They are also dependent on where we find ourselves during the pandemic, keeping the best interests and safety, of both staff and patients, as a top priority. Therefore, we have already adopted virtual communication as a means, when someone cannot be visited, to connect with family members in the future. Please call the relevant facility before visiting to ask about their visitation guidelines.
“All patients and visitors are to maintain the following safety precautions: wear a mask over your mouth and nose, maintain a physical distance of 1.5m, ensure good ventilation, and wash or sanitise hands often,” said Mbombo.