Missing records mystery

2013-11-05 00:00

HAVING survived the horrific Field’s Hill accident that left 24 people dead in September, two women now have to pay to have new medical files compiled for them.

The women, Ntombi Duma from Kwandengezi and Zanele Shange from Chesterville, were among the survivors of the accident, which occurred when a truck ploughed through four fully loaded taxis and two cars at the bottom of Field’s Hill.

They allege that after they were discharged from King Edward VIII Hospital, they have not been able to get their medical records.

Duma spent three weeks, and Shange six days at the facility.

Duma said on several occasions when she went to the hospital, she had been given different stories about the whereabouts of her medical file.

“When I went back for the umpteenth time last Friday, my file could still not be found. I went to the Road Accident Fund (RAF) window where I was again told that the file was not with them. They gave me a note detailing the costs for a doctor to put together a new file. I need this file to register an accident claim with the fund,” said Duma, who suffered head, back and neck injuries.

The note, signed by the hospital manager and which The Witness has seen, indicates that the cost of a medical report for a motor vehicle accident was R311; and copies of patients’ records were R101.

Shange, who suffered a broken right hand, head and face injuries, said she had gone to the hospital three times but had no luck accessing her medical file. “This is disturbing because without these medical reports we can’t lodge claims with RAF. Nobody seems to know what’s happening at the hospital,” she said.

Provincial health spokesperson Sam Mkhwanazi last week said: “These files were never lost, however they were taken by the doctor designated to work with these cases, who completed the relevant claim forms. It could have happened that the patients were not given proper explanations regarding the whereabouts of their files,” said Mkhwanazi.

“The allegation that patients’ files were missing is untrue. The concerned patients are encouraged to liaise with the hospital should they require information on their medical records,” said Mkhwanazi.

Transport, Public Safety and Liaison spokesperson Kwanele Ncalane said it was the first time they had heard about the missing files. “We will follow up with the Health Department. We will be able to help where necessary once we get to understand what the problem is,” said Ncalane.

The RAF said they would respond today.

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