Madonsela to probe children’s ICU beds shortage

2012-09-11 10:05

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will investigate the “severe” shortage of paediatric intensive care units in government hospitals.

The Institute for Accountability, a non-profit group, announced today that Madonsela’s office has confirmed that it would probe the cause of the shortage that has seen doctors having to “play God” by deciding which child is kept in an ICU to receive the necessary care.

The institute’s director, Advocate Paul Hoffman, said: “Hospitals should be capacitated to cope with the anticipated demand for paediatric ICU facilities, which are regarded as basic healthcare facilities.”

In reality, Hoffman said, “this is not the case and has resulted in a situation which is in violation of the rights laid out in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights”.

The issue of shortage of paediatric ICU beds in the government hospitals surfaced in July when the media reported that children needing high care were being admitted to general medical wards because no beds were available at the ICU.

The Institute for Accountability subsequently lodged a complaint with the Public Protector.

According to the department of health 20% of all ICU beds in South Africa are reserved for children while 80% are utilised by adults.

This despite the fact that South Africa is one of the 22 countries in the world that has the highest infant and child mortality rate.

The latest report on peri-natal care in South Africa, titled Saving Babies 2008-2009, shows that 75 000 children under the age of five die in South Africa every year – about 23 000 in their first four weeks of life – while an additional 23 000 babies are stillborn.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Representative- Knysna

George - Knysna
George Employment Consultants
R15 000.00 Per Month Per Month

Key Accounts - IT

Southern Shore Recruitment
R15 000.00 - R25 000.00 Per Month

Audit Senior / Bookkeeper to Trial Balance

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Placement Point (Pty) Ltd
R15 000.00 - R21 000.00 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.