South Africa: Patient Complaints Line to Roll Out Across the Province

press release

The Western Cape Government Health call centre that has been available for patient complaints for five months now, has proven a huge success and it is envisaged that the call centre will roll out to all health facilities in the metro during the 2013/14 financial year.

An analysis of the medium that clients prefer, to log a complaint or compliment, reveal that callers prefer making a phone call. The numbers of calls are far in the majority, compared to text messages or e-mails. In the five month period, 594 complaints were logged. The complaints line receives an average of 6 calls per day. The most complaints are lodged between 09h00 and 12h00.

In total, during this period, 594 queries were raised of which 578 were resolved, that is 97%. The majority of complaints are resolved within five days. A survey by the call centre shows that patients are very satisfied with the service provided by the call centre.

At present 16 complainants are waiting for feedback. The majority of complaints originate from the Mitchell's Plain Community Health Centre.

Overall the majority of complaints that exceed all other complaints are about waiting times. Second in line, but not nearly as many complaints are about attitude towards patients.

Minister Botha says: "This is exactly the value of the complaints line. It enables the department to identify the facilities that face the most challenges. Now we can target our resources towards specific problems. The success of the pilot has proven that we can roll out the call centre to service all facilities across the province. During the 2013 financial year, the service will be extended to all facilities within the metro. Each financial year another district will be added to the service with the aim to offer the service to all patients across the province by 2018."

At present the call centre is available for clients from the selected health facilities which form part of the pilot project from 07h00 till 19h00.

The eight facilities identified for the pilot project are:

  • Mitchells Plain Community Health Centre
  • Khayelitsha Site B Community Health Centre
  • Retreat Community Health Centre
  • New Somerset Hospital
  • Tygerberg Hospital
  • Helderberg Hospital, Somerset West
  • Wesfleur Hospital, Atlantis
  • TC Newman Community Day Centre, Paarl

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