Hospital blamed for baby deaths

2013-01-07 16:25
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Johannesburg - Nehawu on Monday blamed the management of George Masebe Hospital in Limpopo for the death of four babies over the weekend.

"These babies died of treatable diseases because there were not enough doctors at the hospital. This is beyond negligent from the hospital management but borders on criminality.

"We call for an investigation of the incident and for the hospital management to be made to account for this oversight," said provincial secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) Jacob Adams.

Four babies died at the George Masebe Hospital in Mokopane on Friday due to the unavailability of a doctors to treat them.

"There were only three doctors on duty at the hospital," Dr Mashilo Kgathi, who was on duty, was quoted by the Daily Sun newspaper.

Adams said it would be "grossly unfair" to blame the nurses and doctors because the circumstances were beyond their control.

"The management should be made to carry full responsibility... they were faced with a crisis situation in that hospital when three out of nine doctors resigned in December 2012," he said.

Spokesperson Snenhlanhla Gumede said Limpopo Health MEC Norman Mabasa visited the hospital on Monday morning.

"He has expressed shock and sadness at the state of affairs at George Masebe Hospital and has called for a commission of inquiry to investigate the death of four children," said Gumede.

Mabasa was confronted by wards that were unattended by doctors and patients who alleged they had not been seen by a doctor for a week, she said.

Mabasa also met the families of the victims to offer his condolences.

“The situation here is appalling... I have called on a commission of inquiry that will report to my office within a week, and any official found to have acted negligently will be dealt with accordingly,” Mabasa said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nehawu  |  polokwane  |  health
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