Dying diggers of Namaqualand need saving
|by Dr Isak Fritz, MPL – DA Northern Cape Spokesperson of Health|
|Date: 30 July 2020|
|Note to Editors: Please find attached soundbites in English & Afrikaans from Dr Isak Fritz, MPL. The Democratic Alliance (DA) is calling on the Northern Cape MEC of Heath, Maruping Lekwene, to hold the management of the De Aar hospital accountable for murder, after two patient deaths allegedly occurred this week following the abscondment of nurses and sisters from their posts.The DA has it on good authority that, on the Tuesday night, while there were four patients overnighting in two different wards, necessitating that there be two nursing sisters and three nurses on duty, most of the staff, except for a single nurse, failed to remain on duty for the full duration of their shifts. In effect, patients were left unattended overnight and two patients, one of whom was Covid-19 positive, and the other who was still awaiting his results, allegedly died.Based on information received, it is believed that at least the second patient death, could have been avoided, if necessary care was timeously administered to the sick patient.This is a tragedy indeed.It is intolerable that patients were abandoned by the very staff who were appointed to look after them. People seek medical care to receive treatment and to heal, they do not visit hospitals to die lonely and unnecessary deaths.The DA is of the firm view that the Chief Executive Officer of the De Aar hospital needs to be hauled in front of an investigative panel. Even more so given that this is not the first incident pointing to an utter lack of management and adherence to protocol at this very facility. The CEO herself is a nursing sister. She needs to explain why staff failed to report for duty and also, why, if she knew that they were unable to service their shifts, she did not make alternative arrangements, or herself stand in for one of them, given her qualifications.The DA will request MEC Lekwene to urgently launch an investigation into the matter, failing which we will submit a complaint to the Health Ombudsman.|
Hospitals, regardless of how new, or state of the art they are, are nothing if they fail to possess the human resources required to administer life-saving health care interventions. It is therefore high time that the De Aar hospital starts acting like a hospital, not a bed and breakfast.
|Dr Isak Fritz, MPLDA Northern Cape Spokesperson of Health083 395 2737 Shelley de WittResearcher0828471387|