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Graphic images: DA wants MEC to investigate another case of alleged negligence at Livingstone Hospital

Jan 24, 2018
Graphic images: DA wants MEC to investigate another case of alleged negligence at Livingstone Hospital

WARNING - Graphic images. The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Wednesday called on Eastern Cape Health MEC, Dr Phuza Dyantyi, to launch an immediate investigation following an incident on Tuesday night when staff in the Oncology Ward at the Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth allegedly failed to assist a vulnerable patient, who suffered a bloody fall from his hospital bed.

"The MEC must answer for ongoing incidents of negligence by staff at the hospital.

"The family of JC Botha, an oxygen-dependent cancer patient, were visiting him when he fell from his bed," said Celeste Barker, Shadow MEC for Health.

"It is alleged that instead of assisting him, the ward staff confiscated the phone used to capture the pictures in this statement."

Barker said that this latest incident, the reaction of the ward staff and their clear failure to assist a most vulnerable patient constitutes a breach of medical ethics and contravenes the founding preamble and values of our constitution.

"Last year, Zakes Mbeki fell to his death from the fifth floor of the hospital and the leg-wound of another patient, Clint Morris, became infested with maggots despite his alleged pleas to nurses for days to change his dressings. In both cases, internal investigations had found that nobody could be held responsible," she added.

"I am most grateful for Livingstone Hospital CEO Thulane Madonsela’s reaction when I spoke to him last night and he confirmed that an investigation would be instituted and that '…if any wrongdoing is found, there will be consequences'.

"However, I have submitted questions for oral reply to the MEC of Health, which she will have to answer in the House at the next sitting of the provincial legislature."

Barker said that the MEC needs to be held accountable for what is happening at provincial hospitals.

"The non-findings in the previous cases were highly dubious. It cannot be possible that such incidents of overt neglect are brushed under the carpet," she described.