Northdale: Patient on floor, dead

2011-02-04 00:00

AS people continue to talk about the neglect of patients in public hospitals around KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the Gwala family are mourning the death of Ncamisile Gwala at Northdale Hospital on Saturday.

Joyce Mvelase, a niece, told The Witness yesterday that on Saturday morning, they visited her aunt and found her lying dead on the floor of Ward R where she had been admitted on Thursday for coughing and breathing problems.

Mvelase and her mother visited Gwala on Friday and found her in bed with drips and an oxygen mask on. “That indicates that she was attended to, so we left her to rest. On Saturday when we went back she was lying dead on the floor and there was another patient on her bed. When my mother discovered that she was dead she collapsed. No one came to her rescue and we had to sprinkle her with water, and all the time the nurses on duty had a bad attitude towards us,” said Mvelase.

When they asked why Gwala was lying on the floor, the nurses allegedly said there were no vacant beds, despite the fact that she had been in her own bed the previous day.

The provincial secretary of the Democratic Nurses Organisation of SA (Denosa), Cassim Lekhoathi, said there is no justification for a patient to be left to die on the hospital floor.

“She should have been treated with dignity, not like a dog...” Lekhoathi said.

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