Several patients seeking medical attention at Dilokong Hospital in Limpopo Province have reported being turned away due to financial constraints.
According to the reports, some were refused treatment for not having sufficient funds to open medical files, while others were faced with additional charges during their stay.
One patient shared an incident where they were denied assistance because of an outstanding debt of R65 dating back to 2012.
Despite attempting to settle the amount, they were informed that both the old and new charges needed to be paid before receiving any medical attention.
Another patient recounted being admitted for a two-day stay after paying the R65 to open their medical file. However, upon preparing to leave, they were unexpectedly informed of an additional R80 fee for the bed they had occupied during their time at the hospital.
Neil Shikwambana, the spokesperson for the Department of Health in Limpopo, acknowledged that while certain healthcare services are not entirely free, facilities should not refuse treatment based on financial constraints.
He emphasized that patients without immediate means to cover expenses should still be attended to, with the possibility of arranging payments at a later time.
The incidents at Dilokong Hospital have raised concerns about the accessibility of healthcare services for those in need, highlighting the challenges faced by individuals with financial limitations seeking medical assistance at public health facilities.