KWAZULU-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane has ordered an urgent investigation into Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital after a video depicting a patient in an unhygienic condition at home was released after she was allegedly discharged with open wounds.
In the video, the patient’s daughter can be heard narrating the patient’s ordeal, including allegations that her mother was assaulted and insulted by healthcare workers during her time at the hospital.
After receiving the video last night the health department said in a statement that in less than 30 minutes an ambulance had been dispatched to fetch the patient from her home at Umlazi “CC” Section.
Reacting to the incident Simelane said: “I am severely disturbed by this video, and have instructed the Head of Department to see to it that an urgent investigation is instituted.”
“The investigation must interrogate, among other things, whether the patient was clinically managed properly and whether she should have been discharged in her state. It must also establish whether she can identify the people who allegedly assaulted and insulted her,” Simelane said.
“Obviously, our immediate goal at the moment is that she urgently receives the medical care that she requires, so that she can hopefully recover. So, we are glad that she’s been brought back into our care. But we need to see whether there has been any wrongdoing on anyone’s part, so that the necessary sanctions and corrective action can be taken.”
Simelane said the depatment was “very serious about consequence management”.
“The days of mistreating patients and healthcare professionals making themselves guilty of dereliction of duty, thinking they will get away with it, are over. Our fellow compatriots come to our health facilities when they need medical care because they have nowhere else to go. We therefore cannot sit by and fold our hands while our people appear to be mistreated,” Simelane added.
She said the matter was being investigated as a priority.
Simelane urged aggrieved patients and relatives to exercise their right of recourse and not to leave healthcare facilities without lodging a complaint or, where necessary, seeking further medical assistance.
“Even those who have been discharged… if their medical condition takes a turn for the worst, we urge that they be brought back to hospital as a matter of urgency,” Simelane added.