Hospital accused of feeding patients rotten food

2014-01-05 22:27

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Mbombela - Allegations of inflated prices and of patients being fed rotten food have been levelled against another state hospital in Mpumalanga.

Tintswalo hospital in Acornhoek is the second hospital in the province to be accused of serving patients rotten food since November. The other was Embhuleni hospital near Badplaas.

A senior doctor from Tintswalo, who spoke to African Eye News Service on condition of anonymity, said patients at the 423-bed hospital were served rotten food for months because “the provincial department of health claims to have exhausted its budget and has no money to buy food”.

“It's either dry pap, rotten beetroot and cabbage for patients everyday, if not rotten meat. These confirm media reports that the entire health-care system in the province is in shambles. How can they have money to buy fresh food if they allow a food supplier to charge them R50 for a R2 apple,” said the doctor - who also claimed that some staff members, including himself, are on the verge of resigning.

The doctor's claims were confirmed by Kenneth Silinda, a 29-year old patient who told AENS that he had to ask for an early discharge because he could no longer stomach the food.

“I was admitted on 4 December with a lung infection, but I forced my doctor to release me after two days because we were served rotten food. I went to hospital with a lung infection and I came out with diarrhoea, plus the lung infection, how great is that,” said Silinda.

He said he eventually went to a pharmacy where he was helped.

The hospital sees about 500 patients a day and serves a catchment area of about 1.5 million people.

Provincial health spokesperson Ronnie Masilela was not aware of any reports of rotten food from Tintswalo.

“We have a number of service providers at that hospital and your source must tell you which one is supplying rotten food. As far as we are concerned everything is fine at that hospital, but we will look into these allegations and take it from there,” said Masilela.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has repeatedly complained that the public healthcare system of Mpumalanga is in total disarray.

“They always promise to investigate allegations against hospitals, but despite these promised probes, health-care does not improve in the least," said DA member of the provincial legislature, James Masango.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  health

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