ALTHOUGH I live in the Free State, I have residence in your city through my son and I opted for your Provincial Hospital as I was given a slightly earlier appointment. Having just been discharged after spending nine days on two surgical floors of the Pyott wing, I believe I could not have had a better experience in any other hospital or clinic in your city or, indeed, in any other provincial hospital in the country.
The quality of the medical, nursing and auxiliary care, and attention to detail was of a very high order. My stay coincided with a nursing practical period and I heard from university, college and Netcare trainees how this was their favoured facility for in-service experience.
Many staff told me that the standards set by the long-term but recently retired medical superintendent were being maintained in anticipation of the appointment of her permanent successor.
Some of the usual areas of hospital criticism -- including shortage of linen and other supplies, and "hospital food" -- earned high marks at this fine institution. "Bring an extra pillow if you would like" was my only advance guidance.
As I have day-to-day experience in a well-regarded country restaurant, I can confidently say the quality and variety of this hospital's meals and their presentation were of a high standard. Notable were an occasional fish cake as an extra breakfast item and a piece of fresh fruit every day.
In nine days, no identical lunch or dinner was repeated.
My discharge is temporary -- to allow my symptoms to stabilise -- and I am due to be readmitted next month for observation and further treatment if necessary. I am looking forward to being reunited with many friends on the staff.
The hospital's attractive Edwardian wing is well maintained. Also, where else in the world could I hope to be in hospital while enjoying views of shipping movements out at sea as well as the jewel of your city's World Cup soccer stadium.
All these achievements should be matters of pride in what can be achieved in the face of the budgetary constraints experienced by state-funded health facilities throughout the country.
Richard Proctor-Sims, Philippolis