DA to lodge complaint against Klerksdorp hospital nurse

2016-12-28 16:34
The DA will lodge a complaint against a Klersdorp hospital after a man was shot in the face during a farm attack on Christmas. (Supplied)

The DA will lodge a complaint against a Klersdorp hospital after a man was shot in the face during a farm attack on Christmas. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg - The Democratic Alliance says it will lodge a complaint with the South African Nursing Council (Sanc) against a nurse at the Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital for irregular and callous conduct against a patient.

But the North West Health Department has rubbished the DA's claims of ill treatment at the hospital.

On Wednesday, DA health spokesperson Wilmot James said he would lodge the complaint after a recording of a conversation between a nurse on duty and a patient's sister came to light.

James said Joe Astle, 25, was seriously wounded after a farm attack near Leeudoringstad in the North-West on Christmas Day.

He said Astle was shot twice in the mouth and the bullets were lodged in his brain.

James said there had been no medical doctor available to properly assess him, yet he was not referred to another hospital.

Astle's sister had tried to find out about the situation.

"When [she] asked whether her brother Joe had a feeding tube, the Sister-in-Charge gave an evasive answer, suggesting that he had none," James said.

"When [she] asked whether she, as next-of-kin, could visit in the morning as this was an emergency, she was told no, normal visiting hours applied. When she asked to speak with the attending physician, as was her right, she was told no, she had to come in personally."

He said patients went to hospital to be healed with the dignity they deserved.

"Those injured and traumatised must be cared for with emergency treatment and, as the Hippocratic Oath demands, with no effort spared to preserve life."

James said hospitals were not prisons or concentration camps, adding the hospital and the nurse in Ward 3 should be held accountable.

'Malicious and misleading'

However, the North West Department of Health has called the Wilmot's statement malicious and misleading.

"At no stage was this patient denied access to health, neglected or his next of kin neither denied access, nor was the hospital not having capacity or shortage of specialists to attend to his condition," spokesperson Tebogo Lekgetwane said.

Lekgetwane said his assessment revealed that there were no bullets in Astle's brain and spine as the DA had claimed, but that there was a fragment in his neck.

"There is observed a small piece of that bullet since it split into pieces, which is close to the neck. It can be operated and taken out, but it does not pose any physical danger."

Lekgetwane said Astle's family had insisted that he be admitted, and he was later admitted for observation and further assessment.  

North West Health MEC Dr Magome Masike said the DA had undermined the hospital’s capability.

"How can the DA claim that we do not have specialists and we refused to attend this patient when we recently did the first ever heart operation in the province? Was that milestone not enough to show that our department has capacity... to handle complicated cases?" Masike asked.

Read more on:    da  |  healthcare

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