Ambulance turned away 6 times, man dies

2012-07-05 09:16

Pretoria - Six private hospitals allegedly turned an ambulance away, while a gravely ill patient lay dying in the back.

After a seventh hospital finally admitted Jan Faber, 66, and he was finally given treatment, he unfortunately died, reported Beeld.

Earlier on Tuesday evening, Faber’s wife San, 62, had called Netcare 911 when she realised her husband was having a heart attack. An ambulance was at their Pretoria home within eight minutes.

A paramedic called four hospitals but their ICUs were full. The ambulance then went to the Montana hospital, where Faber was again turned away because there apparently was no cardiologist.

The Wilgers hospital was willing to admit Faber but when the ambulance was a block away, it was again turned away.

Faber was eventually admitted to the Unitas hospital where he died shortly afterwards.

“The time we spent looking for a hospital could’ve made the difference between life and death. We could just have well have gone to Steve Biko (a state hospital). I I hear there are good cardiologists,” said Faber’s wife.

Netcare said it was investigating the incident.

  • paulgerber969 - 2012-07-05 09:21


      kobus.hattingh.5 - 2012-07-05 09:46

      What happened to ones constitutional right to life? Reckon its time that the Minister of Health or Government as such be sued in instances like that.

      Klippies - 2012-07-05 09:55

      Unacceptable, that's what it is. It's fine to say the ICU is full but he should have been admitted to the Emergency Unit, stabilised and then moved to a different hospital.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 09:58

      @kobus, its achoice to go private hospital. so, you cant sue public service for private services. Think please. @Alicia, Steve Jobs (late Apple CEO) was filthy rich and he died from illness. So, is your claim about rich and SA factual?

      Freddie - 2012-07-05 09:59


      zambezi.river - 2012-07-05 10:12

      nationalize all private hospitals!

      vijev - 2012-07-05 10:19

      @azande: Actually I have to agree with Alicia. In SA, if you have money and influence gets you better treatment and better quality of life. But then again, it is like this elsewhere but more so in SA for sure... unfortunately.

      stef.augustyn - 2012-07-05 10:26

      @Kobus. These were privately owned hospitals with Boards of Directors and other fat cats. Surely the government cannot be blamed for EVERYTHING gone wrong?

      Jack - 2012-07-05 10:29

      Can't you people read - this has nothing to do with the state - he was trying to get into full private hospitals!!! The conclusion was that he should perhaps have just gone to a state hospital.

      monty.pulumo - 2012-07-05 11:01

      and i bet mnr Faber (RIP sir) paid every little cent for his "private" healthcare scheme, agh! the standard of private healthcare in SA is deteriorating bit by bit and that sucks...he deserved better!

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 12:35

      @jackblack - Actually the state does have a lot to answer for. There are always going to horrible circumstances which will arise. That is unfortunately life and it is imperfect. The state has however caused a massive brain drain in this country. There are doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers, nurses and thousands of other skilled South Africans living abroad because of a government which discriminates against them and fails to protect them. Accidents will always happen. The frequency of similar incidents will only increase as our government systematically erodes our ability to take care of ourselves. The man or woman who could have saved this poor gentleman was quite possibly sleeping in Australia at the time. RIP Mr Faber.

      ann.murray.9279 - 2012-07-05 12:49

      ABSOLUELY DISGUSTING!!!! RIP Jan Faber and condolences to all your loved ones!

      Ed - 2012-07-05 14:17

      Azande....i sincerely agree with you there. it seems as if kobus and his fellows were not on top of the brain-donor pool at their local clinic. now we do all know that health and educatoon are in crisis in the PUBLIC sector, but these are private hospitals that we are talking about. what they are doing is like blaming government or the cops for when their security company failed to install something, or for a durex condom that cant always blame government. still, sad that private healthcares standards are dropping and led to this man dieing.

      Ian - 2012-07-05 14:19

      @zambezi, then i stop paying my medical aid that finances your health care,you dim wit

      lownabester - 2012-07-06 09:33

      They want to see the $$$$$ signs and the medicial aid number, very sad!!!!

      nasheenar - 2012-07-06 13:57

      Is this what your money buys you these days. The bast...ds are not two minded to take your money though!

      mark.richardson.3914207 - 2012-07-06 14:08

      jack black it has everything to do with the state . The state of the nation is the problem. Instead of wasting money on the head of the banana republics weddings and fatcat anc hanger ons , spend it where it counts. looking after the nation. oh sorry they think the nations owes them.

  • gareth.perkins.52 - 2012-07-05 09:21

    Sick Sh*&........

  • 6Lady6Cadaver6 - 2012-07-05 09:22


  • SmilificationTheTrollSlayer!!! - 2012-07-05 09:24

    RIP - Shows you what a mess the state healthcare system is in. It's disgusting. But since the ANC eats cake, it's ok.

      rosiegracebrooks - 2012-07-05 09:27

      This was the private sector messing up - if he'd gone to state he'd probably be alive.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 09:31

      He was turned away by private hospitals and by the way the wife reckons that if they had taken him to the "state hospital", Steve Biko Hospital, he could have survived because “there are many cardiologists there”.

      SmilificationTheTrollSlayer!!! - 2012-07-05 09:46


      TSR01 - 2012-07-05 10:11

      @rosiegracebrooks, the private sector wouldn't be flooded / overwhelmed if public healthcare was up to standard.

      rosiegracebrooks - 2012-07-05 12:34

      True, but state hospitals are excellent in terms of medicine. My sister worked at Grotties in CT when she was at med school - it's a fantastic hospital. Granted, not all are up to their standard. I was taken to hospital two weeks ago as I'd been vomiting for hours and had stomach pains that were so bad I thought somethign was seriously wrong. I was the only person in the ER at a private hospital. So they did a bunch of tests, xrays etc, and I ended up begging to go home eventually as the pain stopped. Then they sent me a bill for R3000. If I'd gone to the state hospital, it would have been a lot cheaper, but a longer wait. the point is, private hospitals keep you in, do a lot of useless tests etc and then send you home with no diagnosis and a fat bill. THAT is why private hospitals are full.

      june.april.148 - 2012-07-05 14:19

      Steve biko is in serious financial dilemma -FACT

      hein.huyser - 2012-07-06 07:23

      With all due respect, if I must go to Steve Biko or take my chances in an ambulance, guess what my choice will be? I have been vissiting sick relatives in state hospitals, and there was a time when I had to see doctors at Steve Biko, and I promise you, every experience was a nightmare from the pit of hell. Nope, I'll take my chances in an ambulance if I have a choice.

      hester.ferrezuelo - 2012-07-06 14:03

      I disagree with all of you who says that this has nothing to do with the state. It has EVERYTHING to do with the State!! Where are our cardiologists??? Why are they not here in SA? Do some research and see how many has left SA.

  • justin.ware17 - 2012-07-05 09:28

    It's all about the money with private hospitals... so sad

      straatslak - 2012-07-05 09:45

      Yes azande.futhi, tell me about how your goverment cares more about the people than money. You probably don't know what nationalization means.

      straatslak - 2012-07-05 09:50

      I'll pass, thank you. I see no use in arguing with a wall today.

      straatslak - 2012-07-05 10:02

      @azande: Even though I'm terrified of reading your idiotic comments (I’m always chicken when it comes to stupidity), I need to get back to my job. Maybe you'll understand how that feels one day.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 10:06

      @laurence, You are actually right when you say, the best is the correct mix. Its just that currently in SA, nationalization, even partial, would be very a detrimental policy considering the state our government is in with regards to rife corruption, gross incompetence etc. Some people think nationalization is just purely wrong... pity.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-07-05 10:11

      There is nothing wrong with the state hospitals in Vietnam, great service, knowledgable staff, but impossibly long queues as there is not enough hospitals to meet the growing demand for healthcare. Also the treating rooms are falling apart and is a bit grimy, but everyone is happy....

      vijev - 2012-07-05 10:14

      @Straatslak: Actually nationalization does have some benefits. The problem is the name! In Scandinavian countries, its called "socialism" not to be confused with communism. Now you know how well the Scandinavian countries are doing providing equal education and health to all. That is what I would like to see in SA.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 10:19

      @vjen, thanks for that. we can do the same here in SA and services to the people can improve drastically. However, we are not ready at all with current spate of accountability or lack thereof.

      straatslak - 2012-07-05 10:38

      @vijev: The problem isn't the name, it's how it will be implemented and controlled. It may show benefits in a country with a functional governing body, but that same country could do well without it too, since they have the basics of proper management down. Talking about nationalization in South Africa now would be like discussing gun control with a 7 year old. Even though they would claim to understand the dangers and what not, they'd still probably shoot someone because they are not ready for the responsibility. Why not look at other solutions that can help NOW, not when we finally have leaders who know how to lead.

      vijev - 2012-07-05 11:32

      @straatslak: That's the essential issue. We cant do this now. It's going to be a long process that requires maturity of our democracy but also trust. If we don't trust the child to grow up and be responsible, that little child will remain immature.

  • natashia.sam - 2012-07-05 09:28

    Disgusting, we pay so much for private health care!!!!!!!

  • David - 2012-07-05 09:28

    This is not the first time that something like this has happened. What is this country coming to?

  • nhlanhla.zwanekaduma - 2012-07-05 09:29

    They should've went straight to the state hospital, private hospital sux

  • dakey.ras.73 - 2012-07-05 09:29

    Although I sympathise with the patient's family , the problem lies in the fact that private hospitals could not possible support the general public. In exactly same way South Africa's economy cannot support all of Africa. Out public health service is in the state it is for a good reason and unfortunately it needs to get worst before it gets better. Your average "ANC supporting South African" needs to understand that their party is failing them and this is just the beginning of failing public services. Vote "ANOTHER PARTY" and things may start making sense.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 09:40


      inga.kabane - 2012-07-05 14:44

      i swear, i don't know what the ANC has got to do with this. this is a PRIVATE hospital issue. IDIOT!

  • i.see.a.cupcake - 2012-07-05 09:32

    sue them for everything they are worth!!!

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 12:47

      The problem here is a shortage of doctors. How is suing hospitals going to provide us with more doctors? Isn't it more likely it will just add to the costs of hospitals who will then have to either pay more similar type claims or buy insurance to cover these sorts of claims? Isn't that just more likely to increase the costs of healthcare for everyone as the hospitals now need to recoup these costs from other patients? It is natural to try and blame and punish people when things go wrong. It is more important to actually look at trying to correct the underlying problem.

  • herman.dewaal1 - 2012-07-05 09:32

    waaaaaaar is die B.Tech's in PTA hmm??

  • azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 09:34

    May his soul rest in peace. I am pleased to hear that Steve Biko Hosptital is acknowledged as being amongst the hospitals (competing with private hospitals) that bring life saving services.

  • boltonbarry - 2012-07-05 09:36

    Looks like they all take the Hypocritcal oath

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-05 09:36

    Even most state hospitals gets full at times and turns ambulances away, when it is not your day it is not your day.

      gregory.wellsclifton - 2012-07-05 09:41

      I wonder what tune you'd be singing if this was 'one of yours'. That's cold, very cold. Get help for your issues. Sies man Deon!

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-05 09:44

      do you know that for a fact or you just wanna take back the credit given to Steve Biko Hospital?

      inga.kabane - 2012-07-05 14:45

      i like gregory's commment

      sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-07-05 16:46

      U talking crap. Which public hospital ever turned a person away? They wud rather keep u in high-care while awaiting ICU beds than turn u away.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-07-05 16:50

      I used to work at Tygerberg Hospital emergency unit 25 years ago, some night we had + 60 people coming to ward J1 , had to close down this ward and sent ambulances away. It happened and probably does still happen.

  • hlongwanech - 2012-07-05 09:41

    they cannot extend their icu's because they won't feed their pockets.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-07-05 09:50

    So sad.

  • Thapelo - 2012-07-05 09:50

    Money! It is unfortunate for this man to loose his life just because of private hospitals. My wife the other day was sick and she needed immediate attention. In one hospital in Pretoria East said that before she can be treated they want authorisation from the medical scheme. I told them to stop the medical scheme and I paid with my credit card.To my surprise, the following day they claimed money from my medical card. I had to fight with them for my credit card refund. It took six months to get refunded. Even today after two years, I am still waiting for them to pay the interest on the credit card! I have since boycotted this hospital

      monique.crouse.31 - 2012-07-06 13:21

      Oi Beannie... Perhaps you should only comment once you've actually read the post. Thapelo HAS medical aid, but due to their bureaucracy he paid cash instead. Thats how I understand the situation.

  • jan.human - 2012-07-05 09:56


  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-07-05 09:59

    Yeah right..dial 911 for jack sh*t !!! USELESS !!!!!

  • pjzaayman - 2012-07-05 09:59

    When did humanity reach the point when money overtook the importance of life? How do the directors of these hospitals sleep at night in their millionaire mansions?

  • schewitz - 2012-07-05 10:02

    This is disgusting.... Shame on netcare

      thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-07-05 14:31

      Please read the story again.

      inga.kabane - 2012-07-05 14:46

      i have never had a good experience at Netcare Hospitals. In fact, all private hospitals just run useless tests and send you home without a diagnosis

  • dekkeranton - 2012-07-05 10:02

    There has been many a court judgement, stating that any action can be interpreted as pre-meditated murder, where a reasonably expected outcome could be the death of anyone. Is this not the same? Should these disgusting, greedy, money-grabbing, blood-soaked frauds in there white coats not be charged with murder? Sending a man, suffering with a massive heart attack on a joyride through Pretoria, for whatever administrative reason, does have a reasonably expected outcome of death. Charge them with murder!

      dekkeranton - 2012-07-05 10:41

      The murder case against that idiot rapper and his Mini dice in Soweto, as well as the Pretoria taxi driver that killed that kid on the scooter, was based on the principal of, ‘it is murder because they could have reasonably expected that someone could die because of their actions!’ Why doesn’t the same principal apply here?

  • bmaestro - 2012-07-05 10:09


  • gabriella.thurman - 2012-07-05 10:10

    That's thoughts are with his family! Similar situation happened with my 80yr old grandmother..she fell and hit her head (gashing it open)...she was admitted to Wilgers and for 3 hours they did nothing as their neurologists were not available along with every other private hospital in Pretoria as all the neurologists were on holiday. Eventually we found one available at Montana Hospital.

  • Gavin - 2012-07-05 10:10

    when the government nationalizes health care this situation will get much worse. I wish the people who turned away this dude, the same treatment when they need it most.

  • nadia.chotu - 2012-07-05 10:13

    Name and shame these hosptitals!!! # surely life (as opposed to just money) has to have some meaning or is that too much to hope for?

  • donovan.hoffman.18 - 2012-07-05 10:18

    F%&* these Private hospitals. I bet it wasn't the fact that they didn't have beds or a cardiologist on duty - its probably because the patient didn't have medical aid that they didn't admit him...

  • Dhavandran - 2012-07-05 10:22

    netcare should be sued. priority was the patient should have been stablised and then sent to a hospital which had a cardiologist available, be it state or private.

  • gail.hartmann.14 - 2012-07-05 10:32

    This is a common occurence! Hospitals should not be allowed to turn away a patient, after all they can be stabilised in casualty and then transferred to another hospital once a bed has been found.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-07-05 10:32

    Why should there be private hospitals? To care for the rich? What price on a life? Health care is not a market. Everyone should use state hospitals, which should be state of the art. Our National budget is R1 Trillion. All we ask is : Give us decent education, healthcare, security and roads. Is that too much to ask? Government (to whom this poor man probably paid taxes all his life) members are quick to point out that they have "a team" of doctors attending to them when they are ill.

      vijev - 2012-07-05 10:41

      We are living in Capitalist driven economy with shareholders and investors. In such a world, anything can be commercialized based on a need. Like food, health, sex, etc. If one place gives better food and you care for better food, you will buy from there. This of course drives demand. The same for health. They are merely shops and "out of stock". If health is to be provided, better public care is needed. Also like in some countries have no private health care to prevent medical care from becoming commercialized. So the day we "uncommercialize" our health care system, all that you speak of will come to us.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-07-05 11:02

      I understand the principles of capitalism and commerce, but it seems just plain wrong for a person to pay for a service, and then to receive third rate (or no) service while the institution which administers your taxes, gets excellent service at your cost. That is why I think there should be NO private hospitals, NO private schools and NO private security. Everyone must enjoy the same level of service. Each individual should be treated equally.

  • gerrit.vanpletzen - 2012-07-05 10:38

    Where were the medical personnel who were supposed to be on the ambulance?

      hein.huyser - 2012-07-06 12:25

      Busy doing what they are supposed to do. Keeping you alive till they get you to the closest facility (that have a bed for you) The ambulance people do a very selfless job under very trying conditions. With an attitude like that, pray you don't need them sometime.

  • kathy.strehler - 2012-07-05 10:40

    Shocking, Shame on those clinics!!

  • JournoSergio - 2012-07-05 11:09

    Some MAJOR changes need to come into play. That is the most disgusting ending to someone's life. Imagine if that was one of our family members? I would certainly become enraged and have heads rolling before the sun sets...

  • felican - 2012-07-05 11:10

    So is this a case of Money Talks syndrome or Pure negligence or something deeper??

  • neil.hangwani - 2012-07-05 11:13

    How can one sue the Minister of Health when this incidents was done by the private hospitals, not all private hospitals are good man. a life should have been saved had they gone to the Steve Biko or Pretoria Academy Hospital. do not always blame the govenment for all the ills of the society.

  • dianne.neyt - 2012-07-05 11:26

    Beyond disgusting!!!!!!

  • neserp - 2012-07-05 11:57

    Money Money Money, that's all it is about, no respect for life or the so called pledge all the doctors and medical personnel took to save lives! I wonder if the people on the other side of the fence that so easily turns these people away would do the same if it was their relative in that ambulance!. Condolences to the Faber's wife, sad story.

  • mhla.nombembe - 2012-07-05 12:02

    this is realy terrible . . .its very unusual especialy from private hospital .

  • Kholofelo Irene Maboho - 2012-07-05 12:33

    So unnecessary for a life to be lost so insensibly...wateva happened to the oaths dese doctors take...

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 13:54

      Don't blame the doctors. They cannot be everywhere all the time. We are massively short-skilled across the country. Healthcare is no exception. We need to get more proactive in our outrage. It is natural to respond when there is a human face to a tragedy but the reality is this problem has been brewing for years. Why must people die before we see the folly of chasing skilled people from our country?

      Mzakes - 2012-07-05 14:06

      @DennyCray, why are you blaming gov for private hospitals not being fully staffed? private means just that private ask questions of the ceo's and board of directors of these corporations. Business is there to make a profit and keep share holders happy that's it and that's exactly what these private institutions are businesses.

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 14:23

      @Mzakes - read the links I posted. There are general shortages. Of course they will try to staff their hospitals to the best of their abilities. Due to the profit motive you mention they will *generally* be better staffed and equipped than state hospitals which is why people pay for private healthcare in the first place. Private businesses hate turning away customers (which include patients) and generally only do so when there is no alternative. As you say, it is their business. I absolutely blame government for contributing to the skill shortage for reasons EVEN THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THEMSELVES (read the links - 500 doctors net immigration between 1994-2003 alone!). I'm not saying the government is solely to blame. I even pointed out in an earlier post that we live in an imperfect world and there will always be a certain amount of issues regardless of which system is employed. I would think we would all be able to agree with the idea that it would be better for our current administration to focus on education (a pre-requisite for training doctors) and healthcare problems than the new jet the president will be flying in.

      sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-07-05 16:38

      Danny, uDom. In other countries, there are private medical schools. Why can't private hospitals contribute to the training of undergrad doctors? I have never heard of private hospital bursaries for medical studies at undergrad level-even for white students? Why? Stop blaming Government for everything wrong, u'l end up blaming gvnt for ur wife's cheating on u.

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 17:02

      @Sibiusiso - thanks for the comment. You asked why there are no private medical schools. A good question. The reason is that the government has already disallowed them. Here is a link explaining it: Government control the licensing. For reasons best known to them they decided against allowing private medical schools (which is why you haven't heard of them). You also suggested that private hospitals should train doctors. The good news is that they already do. They also train their other staff too. Also, private hospitals are for profit businesses and like all other companies in this country are also 40% nationalised via taxes.

  • stephen.j.dickson.3 - 2012-07-05 12:35

    This is so symptomatic of all that is wrong in this God forsaken country. And who have we got to thank? Why, the ANC of course.............bottom line.

  • melany.wright.1 - 2012-07-05 12:46

    May I suggest that 6 special invitations to Mr Faber's funeral be issued. One to each of the families of the "fine people" who turned him away in life. Perhaps his death will bring home to them the reality of their decision. Unlike Mr Faber who will not be going home. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

  • yvettesteven.loots - 2012-07-05 12:50

    Life is not fair. Try China.

  • zmvulane - 2012-07-05 13:15

    Trully sad! BUT sometimes I wonder why some of you guys always try to outshine each other with your dim-witted ignorant comments! This stoory is about private hospitals and even the article stays “six private hospitals” and “Netcare and the Life Hospital group said they were investigating” – not Aaron Mostoaledi! What does this story have to do with the public sector, ANC, Jacob Zuma or voting for whatever party? Please read the damn article before making ss of yourselves!

      dekkeranton - 2012-07-05 14:24

      I agree with you completely. People are unbelievably stupid. If they can blame the drought in Limpopo on the ANC the will try to. I’m not a torch bearer for the ANC or a big van of Jacob Zuma, and I’m the first one to jump down their thoughts if there is something they have said or done that I disagree with, but please people, let us be a little bit realistic here! This is a private sector issue, and it has to do with greed and self enrichment of a bunch of thugs in white coats that claim to be healers but are only in it for the money! Leave the ANC, Zuma and Motsoaledi out of this and question a private health system that will allow a man to die because of greed!

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 15:04

      Oh sure, *this* story is about the 6 hospitals. It would be naive and foolish to think that there isn't a bigger story associated with it. Just google "doctor shortage south africa". There are even similar stories linked to this article in related links. Jeez. If this tragedy was the only one that ever occurred in SA then talking exclusively about it would make sense. The real problem is far, far bigger.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-07-05 16:38

      Denny you are correct the problem is bigger. The ANC in al their wisdom created the problems not enoth skilled drs but also certain restrictions on what a GP are alowed to do like the can not admid sick people in hospital and certain prosedures can only be done by specialist extra.

      hein.huyser - 2012-07-06 12:35

      @zmvulane. Seems everything is politicized these days and one must understand the people's feelings around these things. We have some of the best doctors in the world, and they regularly are at the forefront of medical breakthroughs. Just a pity that current government are not prepare to take accountability for the average citizen's safety as well as their stance on the average white person in this country. Their blatant racism and the safety concerns are forcing those who can to look for a place where they can ply their trade of choice under conditions of their choice. I do not feel safe to be operated on by a Cuban doctor with dubious credentials or a sangoma for that matter. So take a pick, because this seems that it will be our only choices one of these days. If you can not relate or understand the concerns, well, what can I say?

      hein.huyser - 2012-07-06 12:35

      @zmvulane. Seems everything is politicized these days and one must understand the people's feelings around these things. We have some of the best doctors in the world, and they regularly are at the forefront of medical breakthroughs. Just a pity that current government are not prepare to take accountability for the average citizen's safety as well as their stance on the average white person in this country. Their blatant racism and the safety concerns are forcing those who can to look for a place where they can ply their trade of choice under conditions of their choice. I do not feel safe to be operated on by a Cuban doctor with dubious credentials or a sangoma for that matter. So take a pick, because this seems that it will be our only choices one of these days. If you can not relate or understand the concerns, well, what can I say?

  • jcoetzee1975 - 2012-07-05 13:34


  • jcoetzee1975 - 2012-07-05 13:35

    So much for the oath of hippocrates.

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-07-05 13:37

    It is shocking, it could happen to anyone of us. Being on a medical aid does not guarantee you first class service. They will check to see if your medical expenses will be covered, if your medical has run out then you are in the same boat of this poor person. Remember, Medical aids say they are only there to assist you, they dont guarantee you to right to anything. Remember most of us can only seek medical attention so long as our savings show money, when you savings have been depleted you are out in the cold.

  • Janine - 2012-07-05 13:41

    I agree with Klippies - the patient should have been stabilised and then moved on. My mom was admitted to Somerset Hospital a couple of years back - took hours to admit her (also through ER24), the poor paramedics had to wait until they could hand her over. She lay on the same bed until the next morning-no water, no ablutions, etc. Last August she had to have surgery - we took her to Panorama, unfortunately after 3 weeks, she lost her battle. We paid almost R 350,000.00 for her care, but it was well worth every cent - she was taken care of and not just left! I know this may have nothing to do with the subject, but Private care is better (if on medical aid).

  • Mzakes - 2012-07-05 13:46

    Start with NHI already, this is sad. It's like this all over the world if you cant afford Medical Insurance dont even look towards a private hospital. All comes back to it's not good enough for me if he had gone to a public hospital heed be on his way to recovery, but No.

      sibusiso.mkoko - 2012-07-05 16:29

      Tjovitjo, nhi woza

  • neels.ferreira - 2012-07-05 13:48

    This is is sad but the truth is that the private hospitals are businesses not getting subsidized by the State. The normal policy is to stabilize a patient at casualty level, and then transfer the patient to an appropriate hospital, if its not a medical aid patient. I don't buy that the ICU's were all full, and the patient could not be helped. The first line of emergency treatment is usually at the casualty departments, at these hospitals anyway. They should have done what is appropriate and then moved the patient away. I assume they did not want to use those very expensive medicines required on a patient, who was not going to pay - these hospitals should be named and shamed for not trying to save a life at any cost.!! What happens if i crash on my bicycle and break my neck, and an ambulance do not want to take me to the nearest private hospital, because i did not carry my medical aid card on me? Something is wrong somewhere! My suggestion - private hospitals should make an arrangement with the Dept of Health to have medicines replaced, that was used on a non-medical aid patient in order to save a life. This will sort out the problem.

      denny.cray - 2012-07-05 15:29

      The issue here wasn't a cost motive from what the article indicates. It was staffing. You cannot buy that. I cannot buy that 6 individual businesses turned away a client for no reason. If it can be established that your theory is correct then by all means lay into these hospitals. It seems far more likely to me that this is an example of the sad but inevitable result of a chronic skills shortage in SA healthcare.

  • theodore.t.craven - 2012-07-05 14:09

    Just another way the lives of citizens are being disregarded. An ambulance is not a hospital strong action should be taken against the offending hospitals.