KZN hospital admits negligence

2010-03-09 16:07

Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal health department on Tuesday admitted there had been negligence when a baby's body went missing from Prince Mshiyeni hospital's mortuary.

"There was a high level of negligence in the disappearance of the baby's body," health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo told journalists at the hospital in Umlazi.

In January, the body of a baby went missing from the hospital's mortuary and staff said they did not know what had happened to it.

Dhlomo said nobody at the hospital knew what had happened to the body.

He said four people were being investigated for the disappearance.

A report on what had happened had been handed to Dhlomo.

"I am not happy with the report that has been handed to me. It has some holes. We are going to be working with the family on this matter," he said.

ARV treatment

A new report would be completed in two weeks time which would shed light on the matter.

Dhlomo said he was also shocked that after midday, patients were turned away from the hospital's anti-retroviral clinic.

He made spot checks at the mortuary and the pharmacy.

Dhlomo said there were several problems at the hospital's anti-retroviral clinic, the pharmacy and the maternity ward.

"It was shocking to hear that patients are chased away after noon. I find this unacceptable… the hospital and our goal is to keep patients on ARV therapy," said Dhlomo.

He also said there were stories of long queues and patients protesting at the hospital's pharmacy.

"I have also been told that the manager has frequently disrupted all measures being put in place by the district," said Dhlomo.

He also visited the maternity ward. He complained that nurses were not using a partogram which is a tool used in the labour ward to monitor the progress of a woman in labour.

Dhlomo was accompanied by two union representatives from the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) and National Education Health Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).

Denosa's provincial secretary Cassim Lekhoathi said he shared the same sentiments with Dhlomo.

Lekhoathi said the way patients were treated at the hospital was unacceptable and the system had been flawed.