'Drunk' hospital admissions clerk suspended for drinking beer while on duty

2019-04-30 10:21
The 'drunk' admissions clerk. (Screen grab)

The 'drunk' admissions clerk. (Screen grab)

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An admissions clerk who appeared drunk in a video taken at Livingstone Hospital in Port Elizabeth has reportedly been placed on precautionary suspension pending an investigation.

According to Herald Live, public service and administration minister Ayanda Dlodlo's spokesperson Mava Scott said the employee would be issued with disciplinary charges on Tuesday.

Last week, a man and his wife who arrived at Port Elizabeth's Livingstone Hospital casualty division in the early hours of Thursday morning were received by a man drinking a quart of beer who appeared to be intoxicated, Netwerk24 reported.

The wife, who prefers to remain anonymous, said her husband collapsed at their home in Port Elizabeth around 01:00 on Thursday. She then rushed him to hospital. 

"This man with the beer was the first point of contact at casualty where patients are admitted. He was behind the service counter, but incapable of doing anything. He was still drinking his beer right there," she said. 

According to the woman, a file has to be opened before a patient can be examined by a doctor.

'Can't open a file'

"There I was, with my husband unconscious in a wheelchair, and standing between me and the doctors is a man who can't even open a file."  

Moments later, a doctor arrived, seemingly to complain about a previous patient's file.

The woman then told the doctor that her husband required urgent medical attention. The doctor assisted her husband, while a nurse took over the paperwork.

"What would have happened if my husband had to wait any longer? I was afraid he would die there. 

"The doctors and nurses were very helpful. Now this one guy [at reception] is tarnishing the whole hospital's image." 

According to Times Live, Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) Eastern Cape deputy chair Thembisile Nogampula said the organisation was liaising directly with the health MEC Helen Sauls-August on this matter and she assured them that it would be dealt with.

'Very disturbing'

"It is very disturbing to watch the video. An official like that hampers the human right to health," Nogampula reportedly said.

"How could a man who was that drunk be let into the hospital? We wonder how many other incidents were reported involving this man.

"He should be dismissed with immediate effect," he argued.

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Read more on:    tac  |  port elizabeth  |  service delivery  |  healthcare
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