Accident victim's family left reeling, parties slam health dept

2015-07-13 18:37
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Durban - The family of Reveshen Pandather, 19, who died after being hit by a car and who was allegedly turned away from two state hospitals at the weekend, has been left reeling. 

Paramedics, who had treated Pandather after he was hit by a car in Canelands, north of Durban, insist that doctors and nurses from the Osindisweni and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospitals refused to treat him.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department has since launched an investigation into the matter.

Pandather’s father, George, who spoke to News24, said his family was grief-stricken.

“He was crossing the road and the vehicle knocked him. They took him to Osindisweni and they refused to take him and they also told them to leave from Gandhi and he passed away. It was too late for him,” he said, audibly shaken.  

“I don’t know what to do and what to think; it was his hour of need and they turned him away. Everybody is grief-stricken and we are all just shocked."

The DA’s spokesperson on health, Dr Imraan Keeka, lambasted MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, saying he and his department “need to step up and take responsibility for such repeated wanton loss of life”.

“There should be no escape if culpability is identified stemming from the department's protocols. It is illegal to deny care, especially emergency treatment, to anyone. There simply is no excuse for this. Such action directly contravenes section 27(3) of the Constitution of the Republic,” he said.

“My view is that criminal charges must be laid against the medical personnel who turned the then critically ill patient away. If details are provided to us, we will not hesitate to proceed to do this ourselves and then allow justice to take its course.

"At the same time, both the Health Professions Council of SA [HPCSA] and the South African Nursing Council [SANC] must be involved,” Keeka added. 

The IFP’s Ncamisile Nkwanyana also had caustic words for the department.

"Misconduct, incompetence and negligence have no place in our healthcare system and any person found guilty of such conduct must face drastic consequences, including dismissal. The nurses must be suspended, their actions must be investigated and if found guilty, they must be fired," she said.

"Lack of empathy has no place in our healthcare system. When people look for jobs they say they will be professional, yet when they are required to do so, they come up with such bull dung excuses," said Nkwanyana.

"Heads need to roll here. At both hospitals examples must be made, and those responsible should never be able to get jobs as healthcare workers again.

"When the public enter the arena of healthcare, they put their life into the hands of others. They expect high standards and professional care and we need the MEC to ensure professional conduct at all levels in the system," she added.

Read more on:    durban  |  health  |  accidents

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