FOR many decades ministers have been given access to the details of patients when visiting hospitals. These details were available daily and were even listed denominationally at some hospitals, which was an excellent service for the community.
This is not only a major comfort to the patients, but also forms an important part of the healing process. It gives access and cuts down on time when visiting, especially in emergencies.
So imagine my sadness last week when visiting Greenacres Hospital and as a courtesy went to the reception desk to enquire of a parishioner who had been hospitalised. The receptionist didn't say a word, but pointed to a sign and walked away.
The sign read that the new policy of Greenacres Hospital was not to give clerics information about patients.
Surely, with a bit of consultation and empathy, this wonderful service could be restored. Or is that asking too much?
Mark Derry, rector of St Francis Xavier Anglican Church, Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth