'Doctors kill our brothers, sisters', commission hears

2015-07-08 15:35

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Bloemfontein - Shocking testimony of broken equipment, staff shortages, a lack of medical supplies and incompetence was heard on Wednesday at a commission of inquiry into the Free State's public health service. The commission is sitting in Bloemfontein.

One of the commissioners, Bishop Paul Verryn, remarked: "Again, we are hearing about loss that could have been prevented had the doctor been less arrogant."

James Hlazo, a Botshabelo resident, said: “What our doctors do is help kill our brothers and sisters.”

He testified: “I no longer have a brother. He left this world at the age of 21.

“The first time I took him to hospital, they said he had stress. Then they gave him medication for TB. Only later did they find out that he actually had a brain tumour. That is when he passed away.

“I asked for a postmortem but to this day I have never received the results. I want to know what he died of.”

Rebecca Skolz of Builtfontein said: “My brother had a stroke. When the ambulance came they said they would not take him in that state. They wanted payment. They said that he could still walk.”

Lebohang Linah Mokoena of Petsana testified: “I've lost loved ones, I've lost friends, I've lost family. One of my friends was stabbed. The police arrived but the ambulance never did.”

A resident of Welkom told the commission: “I have a child that has been very sick since she was six months old. They discharged her saying they don't know what is wrong. We thought maybe the child had TB. She also tested negative for HIV.

“When the child was scanned, it was found she had primary immune deficiency. The doctor buys antibiotics with his own money."

The resident said the hospital was constantly out of stock of the medicine. "We are pleading for help from the commission.”

Petsana resident Thomas Miya said: “We want to lay a complaint about ambulances, hospitals, clinics and other services. We call the Petsana Hospital the mortuary.”

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  health

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