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What To Know About Hospital Visits

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hospital patient in bed

If you're planning to visit a loved one in hospital, there are a few things you should know. 

The Western Cape Department of Health has released level 1 guidelines for hospital visits. 

"Allowing patients to be visited by their loved ones is an essential part of their recovery and wellness. It is also reassuring for young patients or the elderly to have an escort present when visiting the emergency room or outpatients department However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remain vigilant to avoid congestion and to maintain a safe physical distance between people by decreasing the number of people in our facilities." said the department. 

Visitors are only allowed under special conditions, and must be screened before entering hospitals. 

The Health Department has released the following guidelines for visitors:

Outpatients: 

  • Only one escort is allowed for paediatric, disabled, vulnerable, or enfeebled (weak) patients
  • No escorts allowed for other patients.

Emergency Unit: 

  • Paediatric patients – one escort allowed to accompany patient into emergency room.
  • Terminal patients – family members allowed to be present, but only one or two family members allowed to be present at a time.
  • Disabled/vulnerable patients – one escort may be allowed depending on situation. Will be assessed on case-to-case basis.
  • All other patients: One escort who will remain in waiting room if there is sufficient space.

Inpatients (adults): 

  • Limited to 30 minutes visitation per visitor.
  • Visiting time period of 60 minutes per day. Confirm with hospital what the ward’s visiting hours are before visiting.
  • Terminally ill patients allowed to be visited by loved ones. Restricted to 30 min per person per day – more people and longer time at the discretion of ward manager.

Inpatients (paediatric): 

  • One parent/caregiver can be with the patient.
  • Parent/caregiver can alternate with other parent/caregiver, but only one allowed with patient at a time.
  • More family members allowed for terminal patients for 30 minutes, one person at a time. More people and longer time slots at discretion of ward manager.

Neonatal patients: 

  • Mother can remain with patient or regularly visit.
  • Birthing partner or one designated person can visit daily for 30 minutes. Longer visitation at discretion of ward manager.

Maternity & labour: 

  • COVID-19 positive patients in labour – no birthing partners allowed.
  • COVID-19 negative patients in labour – one birthing partner during active labour if sufficient space and privacy available.
  • C-section: Birthing partners not allowed in theatre but can visit mother and baby for 30 minutes n postnatal ward.
  • Post-natal ward: Birthing partner allowed to visit mother and new-born for 30 minutes per day during visiting period.

COVID-19 and PUI patients: 

  • No visitors allowed.
  • Can drop off parcels (toiletries, food, books, etc.)
  • Exceptions will be made for terminally ill patients.

All other adult patients are not allowed to have visitors. All parcels, such as toiletries, food and books can be dropped off at the hospital.

Family members will receive updates from the hospital about the patient's condition. 

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