South Africa News

Gauteng probing death of patient at Helen Joseph hospital

The department of health in Gauteng said that it was investigating the death of a 26-year-old woman at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg.

This follows a report by EWN about a Johannesburg mother who allegedly found her daughter dead in the same spot she had left her – in a hospital waiting area – more than 24 hours after seeking help from staff.

The department said it instituted an investigation to establish the circumstances around the death of the patient.

“An update will be provided on the matter upon finalization of the investigation into this matter. We wish to convey our sincere condolences to the patient’s family,” the department said in a statement.

According to the report, Nqobile Dube rushed her critically ill daughter, Sichelesile, to the Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg, and by late Tuesday afternoon, she had passed away, still sitting in her wheelchair with her mouth and eyes wide open.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has since blamed the provincial government for the ordeal and said that this was a highlight of the neglect that “many patients have experienced at Helen Joseph’s casualty, which is grossly overcrowded with patients who can wait days before being admitted to a ward.”

“Instead of assisting the Helen Joseph, the Gauteng Health Department has dithered in reopening the safe parts of CMJH and wasted huge amounts of money in building extra beds in the wrong areas without staff and equipment,” said DA’s shadow MEC for Jack Bloom.

He said that the situation had worsened with the Covid-19 epidemic as well as the extra burden of patients who would have gone to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital (CMJH) which has been largely closed since it was engulfed by fire back in April.

Bloom said that a complete overhaul of the Gauteng health department was needed to ensure that money is spent effectively to ensure adequate staff and equipment at all public hospitals.

-The Citizen

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