Princess Marina Hospital has launched a youth empowerment programme, aimed at giving youth a chance to gain work experience. The programme attracted 15 Public Relations students from ABM University.
The programme will address needs at the hospital such as directions to respective service points, procedures to be followed in order to access service, resolving minor issues, management of the help desk and servicing of help desks in the wards.
The Public Relations officer at Marina, Kagiso Motsumi, said the duties will be used to manage queues in the outpatient clinics and also encourage nurses to attend to relatives visiting patients, as multitasking will be reduced.
“The criteria of the campaign is to use the youth who are well vested in issues of communications, public and customer relations, hence the use of public relations students,” said Motsumi.
In an interview with one of the students, Bino Setsiba, who is attached at the registry, said they face challenges but overcome them daily.
“Some patients do not respect time, for instance one will turn up for an appointment an hour late and then forces to be attended first, whilst there is a queue,” said Setsiba.
Kagiso said they have been using a reception point that serves as a registration point, payment point and also as a help desk. However, they have found means to solve the problem by constructing service point near the Accident and Emergency, where they also have two interns helping out. They said they mainly help in directing lost patients into the hospital.
Lydia Mogotsi, a nursing officer who supervises some of the interns said that they came at the right time to assist them.
“They are doing a splendid job and we can now experience a flowing queue without any hassles, and also patients are happy with the service,” said Mogotsi.
The Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry of Health, Donnell Kutlapye, said the programme is one of the initiatives of service delivery at the ministry. Kutlapye told The Sunday Standard that they have also installed toll free phones in all hospitals for all sorts of queries.
“With this youth empowerment campaign, we intend to try it here at Marina and if it becomes a success we can use it again in other hospitals,” said Kutlapye.
The campaign will last for a month and a half months.