The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department said health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu had called for a report on the allegations that a first-time mother was left unattended while she was in labour at Mariannhill Hospital on Friday.
Her baby who was premature died eight hours after she was born.
Thulisile Khanyile, 29, from Clermont, said she was admitted to the hospital on Friday after she felt “unusual pain” in her abdomen. She was six-months pregnant.
She said when she arrived at the hospital, the nurses checked her blood pressure and the doctor on duty called a gynaecologist who examined her and gave instructions that she must be admitted because she was in labour.
“I was with eight women in the ward and after 10.30pm I felt the pain again and went to the nurses. I told them that I feel like pushing and they told me to return to my bed and push.
“I asked them how can I push without their attendance and they told me to go back and push, and they will come to attend to me after I hear the baby crying,” said Khanyile.
She said at around 3.30am she was in immense pain.
“At 3.40am my water broke and I woke the patient who was in the bed opposite me and she rushed to tell the nurses. They didn’t bother to come and assist me and I pushed and gave birth to my baby girl,” she said.
She said the other patients helped her while she was in labour.
Khanyile said the nurses came later and took the infant to the nursery, where she lived for only eight hours.
Thulisile’s mother, Busisiwe Khanyile, said she was deeply hurt by the way her daughter had been treated at the hospital.
“We had hoped that as she was in hospital she was in good hands and she would get help,” said the mother.
Nqobile Buthelezi, one of the patients who tried to help Khanyile, said she was traumatised by the incident.
“I was afraid and shocked when this happened. I went to the nurses several times to ask for help,” she said.
She said she used her phone to search on the internet how to reduce labour pains because Khanyile appeared to be in a lot of pain.
After the incident, she said she asked to be discharged from the hospital.
Noluthando Nkosi, a spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, said Simelane-Zulu was deeply disturbed by the allegations and viewed the alleged incident not only as a serious one, but one that warranted immediate, stringent action.
“What is alleged to have happened goes against what this administration stands for, which is respect for patients and the prioritisation of their needs.
“The district director and chief executive of the hospital have been instructed to urgently gather facts surrounding this matter and to provide both the head of department and the MEC with a full report, after which the necessary action will be taken.
“Without prejudice, the MEC has previously made it clear that there is no place in the department for anyone who mistreats patients or fails to discharge their duties in line with established norms and standards,” she said.
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Source: The Mercury