'Urgent' probe into baby's hospital death

2013-01-21 14:32

Johannesburg - The Gauteng health department is investigating the death of a baby which allegedly fell on the floor during birth at Kalafong Hospital in Alberton, a spokesperson said on Monday.

The department's Simon Zwane said the matter was being attended to with "extreme urgency".

"We are not happy that, on the face of it, it seems that somebody did not properly manage our patient and it resulted in this unfortunate incident."

Doctor didn't help

Beeld newspaper reported that Janine Meiring, 33, was rushed to Kalafong hospital on 24 December after going into labour during her 27th week of pregnancy.

Meiring told the newspaper the hospital had been short-staffed and that no porter or wheelchair was provided.

After having a sonar scan, the doctor apparently ignored Meiring when she asked him about the baby and told her to walk back to the nurses.

"I said I could not and cried. The contractions were out of control. He insisted I had to get off the bed and helped me off. I had hardly taken two steps when I felt the baby’s head with my hand. I told the doctor I could feel his head, but he said I should not touch there and pulled my hand away," she told the newspaper.

"Then the baby arrived and slipped through my fingers onto the floor."

Meiring said the baby landed so hard it bounced and landed on its head a second time. The umbilical cord ruptured.

"I just looked at the doctor in disbelief. With a smile, he told me I had to pick up the baby. He did nothing to help me."

Meiring claimed she picked up her baby, who was struggling to breathe, and ran to the nurses. The baby later died.

A paediatrician told Beeld his death could have been caused by the head injury, blood loss due to the ruptured umbilical cord, infection, or undeveloped lungs because of the premature birth.


Meiring said she wanted the doctor stripped of his practising licence.

"He should not work with women or children," she told Beeld.

Zwane could not comment on whether the doctor was still on duty.

"Once we are done with investigations, the matter will be reported to the Health Professions Council," said Zwane.

The baby's death follows a string of others at the George Masebe hospital in Limpopo over the festive period.

The babies reportedly died of treatable diseases because most of the staff and management were on leave. A senior manager has since been suspended.


  • monique.nutt.3 - 2013-01-21 14:52

    This should not have happened in the first place. So much time and money wasted on probes and investigations.

  • logical007 - 2013-01-21 14:52

    name and shame this excuse for a human being. He calls him self a doctor???? sympathies to you Janine!

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2013-01-21 19:36

      I would love to see this ^$^£$^^%$&^(% doctor's name in lights, the *&^*^%%^$E$W buggar!!! Stuffit.

  • freddie.mostert.3 - 2013-01-21 14:53

    He bought his degree, and did not know what to do, so he fled and thus became a murderer. Or he is just a racist! Condolences to the family of this poor child.

  • shaun.cousins1 - 2013-01-21 14:53

    name and shame

  • ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-21 14:54

    I agree with the lady who lost her baby he must lose his Doctors licence. And if he was off duty he should have gone home then not still float around the hospital like he's still on duty because even though he was off duty he could of still done a better job by helping the mother and baby. I still say he should be sued or pay for her expenses for the baby and for concealing to help her get through on what happened.

      JManAtheoi - 2013-01-21 15:00

      Pay for her expenses? How do you pay for a lost child due to neglect? jail time at least!

      ulandi.potgieter - 2013-01-21 15:22

      @ JManAtheoi - Yes jail time for sure but the reason why i say pay expenses is because he can afford it he is a Doctor and he doesn't need the money since he should be going to jail.

      ria.wilson - 2013-01-21 16:01

      Why not both?

  • peta.lee.12 - 2013-01-21 14:55


  • Mariette Venter Schwerin - 2013-01-21 14:59

    A friend's daughter also had a VERY bad experience at this hospital's maternity ward. Reported them in December already, lucky for her, her baby didn't die. SO SAD!!!

  • denise.wilshire - 2013-01-21 14:59

    Simply put, there are protocols and procedures. Tick the boxes and if they have not followed them to the letter, then sue them until it hurts. This mother is not the first and she will not be the last until enough noise has been made. The way that STATE HOSPITALS are run is deploreable. Our hospitals used to be world leaders in 1993. Another ANC tale of destruction. Our standards have slipped so far. I would be ashamed to call myself a nursing sister in State Run Hospitals today!

  • williamjoseph.roberts - 2013-01-21 14:59

    They are gonna probe and probe and probe and........................and nobody at the hospital is gonna be found to be responsible.

  • eyesears.handsfeet - 2013-01-21 15:00

    He's probably not even a doctor.

      ria.wilson - 2013-01-21 16:01

      The article talks about a senior manager.

  • Paul Stevens - 2013-01-21 15:00

    news24, Kalafong hospital is not in Alberton, its in Pretoria!! Before everyone calls for the doctors blood, let the investigation takes its course. I'm sure you'll find a different story at the end of it all!

      maneo.molefe - 2013-01-21 15:37

      the only different story out this is that they will be a cover up, seeing ur baby bounce twice on the floor, that is traumatic.

  • laings.corner - 2013-01-21 15:06

    How the hell is this happening . . . inside a hospital ? ! ? Unreal folks. Must be the only place on earth where you're better off having a baby at home than going to the hospital. You all better start voting for someone else or we're all doomed . . !! Un . . freaking . . believable !!!

  • shannamoreno - 2013-01-21 15:06

    shocking, disgusting, heartbreaking!!!! this is what our taxes go to pay? i am SICK AND TIRED of Doctors and nurses who do not care about the patients. If you dont care about people then find another profession. Why must innocent people who have no choice but to trust you be made to suffer??? you cant bring back someone who has died! that poor mother :(

  • talana.malherbe - 2013-01-21 15:10

    FFS! This is sick! This doctor should be charged with murder!!!

  • vanessa.luckhoff - 2013-01-21 15:11

    The baby's death follows a string of others.......Sounds like this is just an every day norm...Sickening to say the least!!

  • cj.venter - 2013-01-21 15:16

    shove him off the tallest building in pretoria and let him see what it feels like to be "dropped" onto the floor.

  • Eterni80 - 2013-01-21 15:17

    how do you survive something like this ? how do you say sorry after doing something like this ? how does our government look at itself in the mirror and say to itself - I am doing a good job, I deserve to be here ? I wish on them only what they deserve - I wish our so called political VIP's would use our wonderful hospitals themselves and face the horrors that lie in wait there. to the Mom I pray that somehow you will find peace after this terrible event.

  • Balloo - 2013-01-21 15:18

    how about we get to shoot the flippen doctor in the head...and get him to pick his own brains up...

      carol.brand.5030 - 2013-01-21 15:42

      wont be much to pick up! what a dreadful, dreadful place. Let's insist the government goes! The lot of them especially showerhead. Egypt did it,

  • hanneliemaartens.weitsz - 2013-01-21 15:23

    I have no words.....Just so sad for this mom. The Dr should be taken on for this, as others are being treated the same and because of his attitude other babies could die like this too. What a "donkey"!!!

  • ashleigh.m.miller - 2013-01-21 15:25

    Hmmm.. Sounds all too familiar. I had my son there 7 years ago, and was treated like dirt, and so was my brand new baby boy. I make sure that I have a medical Aid so i don't have to go to another provincial hospital.

  • honey.mthimkhulu1 - 2013-01-21 15:30

    Dee lunatic doctor shud rot in jail for what he has done...he has just caused pain dat will never replenish in the heart of Marin

  • malusi.mtetwa - 2013-01-21 15:33

    This is extremely sad, I am shocked out of words, this is plain animosity. Removing this doctor of the HPCSA doctors roll would not be enough.

  • caine.abel.75 - 2013-01-21 15:36

    First things first .... expose the mfkr

  • carol.brand.5030 - 2013-01-21 15:38

    I am sorry Janine for your dreadful loss under such awful circumstances. Dear God, save us from this criminality.

  • Gideon.Viljoen - 2013-01-21 15:40

    allegedly????? She saw him dropping her child, sad sad sad, I will die, omg why why? Baby killer

  • Lekaike - 2013-01-21 15:40

    This may just be a drop in the ocean. How many unreported cases of this nature did he commit. Other deaths in that hospital where this doctor was treating must also be investigated.

  • karen.t.hawkey - 2013-01-21 15:42

    What an horrific story!! Investigation is only now happening?? This incident didn't just happen, it was on 24th December according to both articles, yet it's only when it becomes public knowledge and people start commenting that 'an urgent investigation' happens??!?! oh, and btw Kalafong Hospital is in Atteridgeville (west of Pretoria),as per your earlier article on this tragic story, not in Alberton! When are these reporters going to get their facts straight before they publish an article.

  • annalise.hodgson - 2013-01-21 15:45

    Is " Unfortunate" the new buzz word ?

  • daandre.vanvuuren - 2013-01-21 15:47

    Appalling, publish details on his/her identity, doesn't matter what the race of the victim was. This should send a message to the Gov on standards, keep on reducing on commitments by South Africans and expertise and kill the citizens, trust and pride to our country

  • karina.boekhoud - 2013-01-21 15:54

    Kalafong in Alberton?

  • karina.boekhoud - 2013-01-21 15:56

    Kalafong in Alberton?

  • ria.wilson - 2013-01-21 16:00

    It happened a month ago and it's an urgent probe? Why did investigations not start immediately?

  • susan.wright.92 - 2013-01-21 16:17

    Who on earth checks these articles? The Kalafong Hospital is in Attridgeville , not Alberton.Not withstanding the bad reporting this is a tragic event that should never have happened.

  • Jane - 2013-01-21 16:32

    This is the health system under the ANC government.As with all other sectors they control: completely useless and shocking!

  • Alicia Ilana Abrahams - 2013-01-21 16:45

    May the Lord be with this women and family. Is this Dr even qualified? why did he take his oath? He is a murderer and should be jailed.

  • vanrooyend - 2013-01-21 17:06

    Bring back death penalty for this moron. (can think of many other names to call him)

  • DikgosiThokoane - 2013-01-21 17:14

    My condolences to this young lady for enduring so much trauma in the hands of those that were supposed to help her....... Really sad...... To think that this type of treatment happens everyday in our public hospitals........

      ann.ornelas - 2013-01-21 18:29

      The sadest part of all this over and above the fact that this little one died and his/her Mother is going through the terrible trauma of seeing her baby bounce on the floor not once but twice is that the people treating her have taken an oath. This is an epic failure of society.

  • Maryna Gouws - 2013-01-21 17:26

    Have you seen the kinds of Dr's working in State Institutions? Scarry, most of them not even from our country. They should investigate the HBCSA instead. Who gave him a licence in te first place? Ever thought about that?

  • george.pito - 2013-01-21 17:53

    Blame apartheid then docters were not selected because of BEE. Pilots watch this space

  • rob.tubbs.39 - 2013-01-21 19:12

    Bloody hell. RIP little one - 'burn in hell' the Doctor. SA is degenerating into what will soon be a 'barren wasteland' Am thinking of returning to Zimbabwe.... What is the Dr's name? Let everybody know. Assume he will no longer be allowed to practice. Sleep well Doc....

  • charnelle.bester - 2013-01-21 19:30

    What an awful experience! For this woman to be treated like an animal! This is enough to spark an outrage. If these allegations are true, we should protest and as the people of South-Africa should unite against such violation of Human rights! News 24 name the doctor! This must have been the worst experience any woman can possibly imagine, to be in labour and to lose your child. Disgracefull!

  • Katriena.LaGrange - 2013-01-21 20:29

    that doctor would've never seen a next day.... I would've made sure of that. You leave your life and your unborn in their hands and made that happen I will sue the hospital it will not bring the baby back but it will damn make sure the doctors license to be taken away and never practice again. You freaking idiot doctor. I am so sorry for your loss Janine I am a new mother and can't imagine life without my little one....

  • kimard - 2013-01-21 21:07

    whats wrong with your hospitals over there? i can see it from dublin - NO proper inspections of these hospitals. i feel sick to my stomach

  • HJS - 2013-01-21 21:25

    If the details reported here are true and correct it has to be the most horrible story ever. How do people (can not call them human) be in the medical profession, be it doctor or nurse and behave in the manner reported here? If this all took place on Xmas eve, for goodness sake that was almost a month ago, how does this story only surface now??? (If it is not all true it would make the script for a really SICK movie plot.) Just one other Question just where is Kalafong hospital Alberton or Atteridgeville? Both names used in diffrent reports?

  • HJS - 2013-01-21 21:34

    Would it not be great if all the "priviliged politicians" were obliged to make use of these self same disfunctional excuses for a medical facility. This morning I hear in a radio talk show that the "national" department of health are now taking steps to "take over" two functional hospitals which are run by the Western Cape health department! But surely we should not be surprised about that? How could they allow those two hospitals to function correctly? They need to be brought DOWN to the same standard as those run by other least that would save the ANC a heap of embarresment. To hell with the quality of care to patients.

  • zelda.dickson - 2013-01-21 21:47

    Sue him for every penny you can get. Make sure he never practices again. Should be charged with murder.

  • jennifer.hunter.144 - 2013-01-21 21:48

    Disgusting. Sue the pants off him, these bastards need to know that we, the people, won't tolerate this kind of treatment.

  • wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-01-22 07:09

    Nothing will happen to them. This disgusts me. The poor Mom.

  • gys.kruger - 2013-01-22 11:00

    @Chris the doctor probably bought his licences somewhere in his township where he spent most of his sorry miserable excuse for a life!!!

  • glaudine.collins - 2013-01-22 13:28

    i was in kalafong about 3 months ago , also in the maternity ward, i had a c-section, they treated me like i was garbage, they left my baby with me on the bed for the whole night, struggling to breastfeed, did not even assist in anything, this is my first baby.the next day i had to struggle to get of the bed to clean my baby, i called the nurse to lower the side bar of the bed, the nurse did not even come to me, she stood at the door of the ward telling me she cant hear what im saying. they pulled the catheter out of me while i was busy cleaning my baby, i was still sitting on the bed, could not even walk yet,i had to walk to another ward with my baby, all our baggage,wasnt even dressed yet. they pushed me down on the bed to take my blood pressure, in the way your not even supposed to do if you had a c-section, it can cause serious injuries inside your i signed myself out. they did not even stamp the necessary papers for the registration of my baby, i had to return to get it hart goes out to Janine. why do you study for a nurse or doc if your not willing to help people??? i actually had i believe every single word out of Janines mouth. that place is horrible!!! all of them should pay and not with money, i believe that their day will come and it wont be easy!!!